Tuesday, April 19, 2011

In Other Words.... (Senior Edition)

(This is the fifth and final installment of an entry from last week.) In our study of the parables, my class of senior boys took a one period detour and looked at love from 1st Corinthians 13. So much of Jesus' teaching deals with the motives for our actions; Paul addresses the same issue at the beginning of his beautiful treatise: "If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames, but have not love, I gain nothing." (verses 1-3) As I have done recently, I had my students put similar thoughts in their own vernacular, framing them with their own points of references. As they always do, they displayed a fascinating-and sometimes startling mature- grasp of life. Here is what these young men said:

"If I tell my father I love him and then go and do something he told me not to do, my words are a waste of breath."  Garrett

"If I say I am a changed man but go back to my old ways, I am exactly the same."  Nicholas

"If I donate money but only because I want my name on a building, I am not the cheerful giver God wants me to be."  Cody

"If I stay after practice to clean the locker room but only to get on the good side of the coaches, I might as well have gone straight home."  Ian

"If I am nice to a girl just to make another jealous, I should talk to neither."  Bryant

" If I act one way around my family and another way outside my family, I should just be known for being a deceiver."  Tobe

"If I ask for forgiveness but plan to make the same decision again, I should not have asked for forgiveness."  Gerran

"If I go to church but fall asleep, I should have just stayed in bed."  Louis

"If I take what I have for granted, I might as well have nothing."  Keegan

"If I make a promise to a girl and know that I won't be able to keep it, I should have kept my mouth shut."  Francisco

"If I cannot forgive people for what they did against me, then God should not forgive me."  Johnavon

"If I avoid the principal so I won't have to shave, I should just go ahead and shave."  Marcus

"If I like a girl but don't have the courage to ask her out, I should not like her at all."  Tyler

"If I say I love my parents but I never say those words to them, I have no love."  Chengyao

"If I give a compliment just to manipulate a person, I should not have complimented them at all."  Joey

"If I want to go to college just to get away from home, I don't deserve a home."  Hasani

"If I am baptized but go out with my friends on the weekends and act wild, I should not have been baptized."  Anthony C.

"If I break up with a girl just because of her imperfections, I might as well go home and look in the mirror."  Aaron

"If I pray only for God to take care of my needs, then I have just wasted God's time."  Richard

"If I say, 'I love you' to my girlfriend but feel ashamed to be with her, I should let her find someone better than me."  Elson

"If I volunteer to feed the homeless but call them disgusting behind their backs, I should have stayed home."   Anthony S.

"If I take care of my sister but do it just to earn money, there is no love."  Christian

"If I go home but don't want to be there, I should just buy a tent."  Matthew

God bless,

Luke 18:1
E-mail me at steve@hawleybooks.com


Shanda said...

Some great comments. You are obviously doing a great job with these kids.

Miawa said...

From the mouth's of babe's, I would say they "get it"!

Marisa said...

That is some touching words from Paul. In chapel we talked about that and what those boys said was amazing.
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