Secondary Teacher; Music, Christian Studies & TAS
As staff at Kuyper, we are encouraged to deeply challenge our students and to expect that it won’t always be a comfortable process for them! I believe that this element of teaching is growing in importance as our students live in a world that preaches false messages about the necessity for self-comfort and self-importance above all else. Students are constantly exposed to this false wisdom through relentless advertising, opinions and messages shared on social media, through films, TV and radio as well as other entertainment and information mediums. We would be foolish to believe that our students and children are exempt from deception by these means, so it is all the more important that we challenge our students and children with the truth of God’s Word.
Sadly, the message that every person deserves happiness, comfort and prosperity is not only untrue, but it stands against the very grace of God. Scripture teaches that what we deserve is eternal separation from God because we decided to sin against Him.
In our Year 9 Core classroom, we have been working through the book of James during devotions. For those of us who have been raised in the Church, we know that James is a book which confronts and challenges, and very few readers come away from it without feelings of personal conviction. It has been deeply encouraging to listen to the responses of Year 9 students as they attempt to navigate these truths and come to an understanding of the reality of the grace of God, daily given to us, along with the ultimate act of grace offered by Jesus Christ Himself, who took the punishment of our sin so that we can live in restored relationship with Him for eternity.
Joy does not come from receiving everything you want, especially when the heart believes that you deserve blessing and comfort. Joy comes out of a humble heart that has been transformed by the grace of God; a heart that knows that every good gift comes from above, and receives it with thankfulness.
My hope and prayer is that together, parents and teachers would learn to better challenge our kids and students with the truth so that they might recognise the importance of accepting the incredible gift of an eternal relationship with God, through Jesus. I pray that this knowledge would prompt a change of heart that can respond to daily challenges with thankfulness and joy.
“Do not be deceived, my dear brothers. Every good gift comes from heaven; it comes down from God, the Creator of the heavenly lights, who does not change or cause darkness by turning. By his own will he brought us into being through the word of truth, so that we should have first place among all his creatures.”James 1:16-18