One of the best character traits that a student could learn is the concept of humility. Unfortunately, it flies in the face of the direction our society is going. Media promotes the “me first” agenda. If I do something great, I want everyone to know about it. Me is promoted above all else. Our kids see this in the lives of Hollywood actors and actresses, pro sports athletes, musicians, and other entertainers. They see it so much they think it is the natural way that life should be. They see it as a right that they deserve.
The Bible has a very different picture of how we should live our lives. In James 4:6 is says, “. . . God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble.” You may say, “I don’t see God opposing the celebrities that have egos so huge they can only fit in a room by themselves.” We only see what they want us to see. We don’t really know what their private lives are like. On the flip side I have seen how the humble live. When you talk to our students that have been on mission trips, they all say, “the people there are so poor, but they seem so happy.”
The mission’s week is a very practical example of how we are attempting to help students understand the true meaning of humility and the role it should play in our lives. In Matthew 25:31-46, Jesus is relating the parable of the Sheep and the Goats. The king tells the sheep that they will inherit the kingdom prepared for them because, “For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to see me.” Their simple answer was a question, “When did we do that?” The king replied, “. . . . As you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it for me.”
A couple of things stand out in this passage. The first is doing something for the “least of these.” When our students go on mission trips to less fortunate areas in the U.S. or other countries, they minister extensively to the poor. They take the time to help those in need. It isn’t glorious. Many times it is in a less than desirable environment. The conditions are poor, the settings can be filthy, there may be lice, it isn’t comfortable, and yet our kids dive right in and help wherever they can. The benefit is that students find it incredibly rewarding. I have already had several students who have wanted to talk to me about next year’s trips and what the options might be.
A second thing that stands out is that the sheep didn’t even realize that what they were doing was for the king. They were doing it because it was the right thing to do. They were doing it to help others. If we can just instill this trait in students, how much more could be accomplished for the Kingdom?
On Wednesday, April 16 and Thursday, April 17 we will be having special chapels where each of our mission teams will be giving presentations of their trips. We invite everyone to come. They start at 9:25 in the worship center. The line-up looks like this: Wednesday, April 16 – Missions Trip chapel #1 (Tampa, Alabama, Dominican Baseball, Honduras, Costa Rica); Thursday, April 17 – Missions Trip chapel #2 (Shepherd’s Village, Lakeland, Chicago, Puerto Rico, El Salvador, Guatemala). Please join us and see how God has used our students and our school in the lives of others.