Tuesday, August 7, 2018

For my students: past and present

It's a new school year and for young people and CBC/CCS, I've missed a whole year of your lives.  And there's people before then in Loganville; I've missed 5 years of your lives.  Right now I'm watching you all from a distance and wanting to get back in to teach the Bible and to make disciples, but for now, I'll just give some advice.

1. If you were once a student of mine either in after school or at Sunday School and you see me and I say "hi" to you, seriously folks, say "hi" to me.  What is wrong with you?  I know many of you are in 4th grade and starting to mature, but if saying "hi" to adults is not cool or immature, choose to be uncool and immature.  Life is too short to care what other people think other than God and those he has placed over you.  Don't set age limits on your friendships and be friendly.

2. Be careful of your anger.  I have one main person in mind when I write this, but it can apply to all.  In fact, I can write this to myself.  Nothing makes me sadder than to see my young friends making the same mistakes over and over when it's relating to people who either anger or annoy them.  But remember, you have somebody who is already angry at injustice in the world, both in general and against you.  He is God.  He sent his Son Jesus to die for your sins and even the sins of those who have wronged you.  And he will correct all injustice.  So you don't have to do anything.  To do so is to say, "I'm better than God and know better what I'm doing."  That is idolatry and that is sin and not okay.  But Jesus died for you and you can come to him for forgiveness and correction.

Also remember, he has placed parents and teachers in your life if you need a visible reminder that God cares about injustice and is already angry so you don't have to be. 

Also, when I've been in situations where I was provoked to be angry or rude, I've found it helpful to look the people in the eyes.  Also, looking people in the eyes is the hardest thing for me to do and I can't stand it.  But practice looking people in the eyes and you may find that these people have souls and are hurting too, which is why they are hurting you.  It doesn't excuse it, but it will help you understand.  I don't know who I'm quoting, but remember, "You have more in common with people you disagree with than you do with God."  Let us all remember that, both you and me.

3.  My old students in college, I'm mostly thinking of Aubrie.  I miss you.  When you started middle school and decided to start having my dad teach the class at Trinity Grace instead of me, I regret not carrying on that class.  If I could start over, I would have split the class boy/girl and taught you.  You were always amazing and you still are, and I hope you are still growing in your faith now.  Say "hi" if you read this and maybe we can do some kind of spiritual formation. 

For both you and the ones I still see, you never outgrow your time with old Sunday School teachers/ children's ministers.  I consider myself a fellow student with you and in church situations, we are all one family.  Let's not break those ties.