Written by: Lizbeth Viera
Edited by: Michelle Blanco
The following was sent to me by my sister for editing and I loved it so much I offered to post it here. Let us know your comments!
“You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.” (NIV) Matthew 5:14-16 (For awesome context, read here.)
I am sleepless as my mind wrestles with attitudes and statements I have encountered from believers in the past couple of years.
First, I would like to say that I’m blessed and thankful that my children have had the opportunity to have a private, Christian education all of their lives. Especially now, at a school that offers so much to them in so many different areas. However, these past few years I have discovered that there is also a great danger masked by what I mostly consider a blessing. I have seen attitudes that are as sinful as anything else my kids would experience in a public school. I see arrogance and a lack kindness and compassion towards others. This realization first came to me when one of my girls was only six years old. She made a statement that alarmed me. It wasn’t a curse word, yet its effect on me was the same. She was being judgmental as she observed someone in a store. Her words lacked compassion, she looked at me and just said “they don’t love Jesus!” I was heartbroken because I was seeing a little Pharisee in the making.
I meet parents who believe their kids are somehow better because they can afford to send them to a private school. I have even seen private school employees who, with their statements, will make a parent believe they are not doing their best because they are not sending their kids to a Christian school.
I’m concerned that we are raising arrogant Christians who will not be prepared to face the real world when the time comes for them to face it. We are in the process dismissing The Great Commission by constantly isolating our kids from other children whose only hope of knowing Christ are Christian students in the public school. But we don’t care as long as our kids are ok. We don’t care as long as our kids have a great self-esteem and awesome experiences. We feed them Scripture, which they memorize, but we don’t even give them a platform to live it. We applaud their programs which they perform mostly in front of other Christians who also believe the way they do. Yet, are we really teaching them to live out their faith?
The more I look into the life of Jesus the more I believe he would have been a public school student! He would be out there confronting the drug dealers and bullies with piercing words of kindness. I could see him as a teenager sitting among the goths and asking them questions which would make them reconsider their choices. I could see him sitting with the girl who has been around and back, you know, the one with the bad reputation, and making her feel like the purest, most loved soul.
As a parent, I sincerely understand other parents for wanting what we see as the best for our kids. But we need continually check our hearts in the process. We need to realize that arrogance (the sin of pride) is just as sinful, or more, as anything else they would experience in a public school. We need to be aware of the possible selfishness in depriving the non believers of true Christ-like examples and as we get wrapped up in our own busy lives we also forget to serve and love those who really need Christ.
When my kids reach High School they will probably be attending a public school. By then, I want them to be confident of what they believe. I want them to know that God created the heavens and the earth. I desire for them to be able to recognize sin, first and foremost in themselves, that they may have compassion for the sinner. May they humbly live out the faith they have been taught . I know they might be facing bullies, they will be seeing things they have never seen, they will be hearing lies and even be tempted to follow. Yet I do believe they will overcome. Not because they were in isolation most of their childhood, but because they have watched their imperfect parents live out grace. They have felt loved, cared for, and comforted by people who have learned not to hide their humanity for the sake of appearances. They will serve and follow Christ, who sought the lost and saw the possibility of redemption for even the most wretched, sinful soul.
As a parent, I’m not looking forward to that day, but as a believer who wants the world to know Jesus, I’m also very excited and I will do what I can now to get their “feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace.”