Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Tongues Of Men And Angels 2015 Chapter III

In our study of the Gospels (juniors) and the Gospel of Luke (8th grade) last week, we took a one day detour and looked at love from 1st Corinthians 13. So much of the Gospels 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 in the past, 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 a sampling, all from high school kids. Boys are in blue, girls are in pink, and all are used by permission:

If I listen to vulgar music but do not speak vulgarly myself, I am still exposing my spirit to sin. -Marissa

If I play basketball but just to make my parents happy, I should not play at all. -Jared

If I always judge people based on their looks, then I should look at myself. -Ngozi

If I have a friend but I don't stand up for them, I don't deserve their friendship. -Xzavier

If I have money to help all the people but without love, I am the one who is really poor. -Rachel

If I commit to a job but show up late everyday, I should just be unemployed.

If I make music but without purpose or meaning, I'm only making noise. -Austin

If I give to the needy but only because my parents make me, I shouldn't donate at all. -Michael

If I pray and commit to the Lord but love lust more than Him, I'm not born again. - Ubong

If I have many talents but don't give God the credit for them, I should not use my talents. -Santiago

If I disagree with someone for the sake of hurting them, I should not talk at all. -Joshua

If I respect my girlfriend but not my mom, I should not be in a relationship. -Lowell

And in the Christmas spirit, here are some thoughts from my students in 2008!
"If I do community service but don't help out around the house, the community does not need me." Dominique

"If I contribute $1,000 to the church but feel annoyed to give one cent to a beggar, it's not real love." Jeewha

"If I say I love my mom but I don't obey her, I don't really love her." Hernani

"If I help a special needs child and then make fun of him behind his back, I have no love for him." Parker

"If I say I love my friends but I talk about them behind their back, I might as well have no friends." Veronica

"If you go to church but only do it because your parents make you and when you get there, you just text your friends, you might as well not have gone." Stephanie

"If I call out those who are evil but only to shame them, I should have just stayed quiet." Kenny

"If I say I love my friends but let them do wrong when they are with me, I am not showing that I love them." Kevin

"If I donate food but want nothing to do with the kids in Africa and other poor places, I should not donate anything." Sydney

"If I expect my friend to invite me to her party but criticize it when it's over, I should just stay at home." Jessica

"If I am sweet to girls my age but disrespectful to my mother, why am I stopping short?" Cameron

God bless,
Luke 18:1
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