Our Highest Priority as a Thinking Christian School
“Do not be deceived: ‘Evil company corrupts good habits.’” (1 Corinthians 15:33)
You are an average of your five closest friends. Take the character traits of the five people with whom you spend the most time, mix them together, and you will begin to recognize yourself. Our relationships and, more broadly, our company greatly impact us.
The Latin root for company gives a helpful illustration. Combining the words for “together” and “bread,” it references the era of open-air markets where merchants would swap stories and conduct business over a shared meal. The pattern continues today.
As in ancient times, we tend to surround ourselves with the familiar, giving time and space to the people and practices with which we are most comfortable. Our routine company begins to grow more and more familiar, exerting more and more influence. This is a good thing; God designed us to function this way as social and impressionable beings. However, this includes more than just in-person interactions.
This school year, our staff has been reading and discussing The Wisdom Pyramid by Brett McCracken. This book study has caused me to evaluate my use of technology and assess whether I have been forming healthy habits or bad habits through its constant use. Whether I’m on social media or seeking entertainment, I’ve fallen into the trap of keeping company with my devices more than with face-to-face interactions, particularly when eating alone. This has caused me to ask the question, “Who is my closest company?”
That question must be asked of our society at large. I wonder if the expansive reach of social media and the barrage of perpetual “news” has caused us as a society to keep company with false ideologies. Perhaps believers are influenced to act based on feeling, to make impulsive judgments and snap decisions without deep, critical thinking. We wouldn’t be the first believers to experience this pressure.
Paul warns the Corinthians against “evil company” in relation to false doctrine in the church that seriously affected their beliefs and behaviors. The warning was desperately needed; they were being deceived, after all. Paul follows this warning with an exhortation, urging them to wake up from their stupor, grow sober, and stop sinning through their poor choice of company.
I am convinced that we at Flushing Christian School must continue to prioritize critical thinking. It is important for our students to know how to research, look up sources, recognize the underlying ideologies, then process the information with discernment. They must be able to distinguish fact from opinion and truth from error. What I desire for myself, and what we desire for them is that they delight in God’s Word, meditate on it and love Him with all their mind. Then, they will be able not only to think for themselves but also to engage this world with the truth in a humble, loving manner.
- Chantal Nelson
Head of School
(Photo Credit: Duy Pham | unsplash)