The sum of our choices: Each one of us is to a degree the sum of the thousands of choices we have made in our lives along the way. Some choices are very insignificant. Others are decisions of destiny. By this, I don’t mean that we have all had a hand in the things that have affected our lives, either adversely, or for good. Very often we don’t. However, everyone of us, at one point or another, has experienced the consequences of our own choices, both positive and negative, and we have all journeyed in the outcomes of both.
Avoiding the path of least resistance: Making positive and good decisions can be tough, particularly when it’s so much easier to take the path of least resistance. Let me share with you a story about a student that was sent to me this week by a Bible history teacher in one of our Hamilton County public schools.
"Today we were covering the story of Jacob going to Laban's house and working seven years to marry Rachel. We talked about how Jacob and Rachel dated seven years without ‘lying with her’. Then, after class, when all the rest of the students had left, a young man came up to me and, somewhat awkwardly, told me that he wanted to wait until he was married ‘to lie’ with his wife. I was somewhat surprised to hear this from this particular student considering he was one of the wild guys in class. This gave me an opportunity to encourage him to make good decisions in life. Thank you for all you do to make this possible!"
Reinforcing values: How encouraging this is! Stories like this are wonderful examples of how the Bible is reinforcing values, such as purity, that can help protect young lives from hurt and regret and from participating in things they are not emotionally equipped to handle.
Ownership of choices: This is just one of many stories about how Bible history students are making meaningful life applications from the text, and are making healthier, wiser choices about their lives as a result. To me, the strongest and most beautiful part of this story is that this young man wasn’t told what to do; he drew this conclusion himself. He had no moral structure forced upon him. Instead, he took ownership of this decision, determining the path of purity, he learned from the Bible, was the one he wanted to follow.
Empowered to think about life: For this student to share this with his teacher obviously took courage. And, it may likely take a lot more courage for this young man to not give himself away before he gets married. Nonetheless, we are grateful that Bible history classes are encouraging youth to think more intentionally about their lives. Clearly, the text is empowering students, such as this young man, to avoid the path of least resistance and to make tough moral decisions, even before temptation is upon them. Our hope is that maybe one day in the future, when this young man exchanges vows and says, “I do”, he will be able to reflect back with thankfulness that he chose to wait for his bride. Perhaps he’ll even be able to say, “I am so grateful that what I learned in my Bible history class gave me the strength to not give away back then what I could never get back now.”
Friends, be encouraged to know that your gracious gifts to this Bible history program are making a difference, one student at time. Thank you!