Thursday, October 22, 2015

The Anniversary (Love And Hate)

This past Sunday, I wrote an entry called Ten, marking one decade to the day of my blog. I mentioned the initial devotional was about a well-known football player: this is that entry. Lord willing, my writing has improved. This is from October 18, 2005.

Love And Hate
As I mentioned, I am an instructor at Westbury Christian School in Houston, in the middle of my 9th year at WCS. My B.A., Masters, and teaching certificates are all in Social Science but I have become a full time Bible teacher. This year I am teaching both our 8th graders and sophomores. The 8th grade is studying the Gospel of Luke and my 10th grade curriculum is the Life of Christ, covering Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. I enjoyed teaching US History but I love teaching the Word of God. It is a blessing to have a job you can't wait to get to every day. Today, my 8th graders will discuss Jesus' healing of a paralyzed man and my sophomores will learn about the meeting of Jesus and Nicodemus. But, as we often do, I am going to spend some time talking about something in the news. These kids have to understand that the Christian life is not lived in a vacuum and that they are affected by their culture and current events.

Did you see the "60 Minutes" interview on CBS this past Sunday with Bill Romanowski? The controversial former NFL star spoke about his career and his reputation as being the most despised-feared-dirty player in professional football. When asked the secret to his success on the field, he summed up his week to week motivation in one word- HATE. He said he hated his opponents, their coaches, their city, etc. Romanowski detailed how he worked himself into a rage which allowed him to be a tremendous, although loathed, athlete. I was taken back. Never had I considered hate to be such a strong psychological weapon. My 8th grade students memorize hymns. We are currently working on Martin Luther's classic, A Mighty Fortress Is Our God. In the first verse, Luther portrays Satan as being 'armed with cruel hate.' As Christians, we have to be ready to do warfare with the overwhelming power of hatred. How can we survive? Our kids are growing up in a society that teaches them never to back down. The Scriptures teach a different concept. The answer is LOVE. It isn't easy but Jesus told us not just to love our enemies but to pray for them, do good to them, and lend to them. This is a difficult teaching for my students to swallow. Hating is easier- and sometimes more enjoyable. Love is harder and not much fun at times. We have the best example, though. God sent his Son to save us from the power of Satan and the power of hate. We show the love of God to others in the way we live our lives. Someone will be watching and the power of the love of Christ they witness in us may help snatch them from the grips of hatred. Is there any Bill Romanowski in us today? Probably- and it is time to let it go. Otherwise, it will destroy us.

Applicable quote of the day:
"We have just enough religion to make us hate but not enough to make us love one another."
Jonathan Swift

God bless,
Luke 18:1
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