Friday, March 6, 2009

Preparing the Way

John the Baptist was sent by God to “prepare the way.” His cry was for repentance—to turn hearts back to Him. Repentance is not only an initial change of direction at the time of salvation, but a life-long (even daily) discipline of turning one’s heart to God. True repentance (Greek, metanoia) embodies a change of mind, a change of purpose, and a changed life.

Solomon’s wisdom was obviously not in his own ability to make good judgments; this is apparent from the major mistakes he made when his heart veered away from God. It was in the beginning of his reign when he prayed for an “understanding heart” (literally, a hearing heart). Having a heart attuned to God made him wiser than anyone on earth. Unlike the Socratic enticement to “know thyself,” biblical education encourages us to know God and His counsel in all things. “Let not a wise man boast of his wisdom…but let him who boasts boast of this, that he understands and knows Me” (Jeremiah 9:23, 24).

Very simply, humanism says, “I can do it.” Christianity, on the other hand, says, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” The key to success in all of life is “Christ in you, the hope of glory.” A life of faith in (dependence on) Christ is paramount for instructors to be godly mentors, for He alone is the source of true character.

The goal of Christian educators is to help cultivate the minds of students, to aid them in making sound decisions, and to be effective and authentic role models; teaching them by example the value of life-long “repentance.” Our task is to guide the plow, disperse the seed, water the new crop…and most importantly, try not to eclipse the sun. “Preparing the way” is the job of educators.