Monday, November 5, 2012

Who doesn't want the best?

Why are we born? to grow up. How do we grow up? by going to school. Why do we go to school? so we can have good jobs. How do we get ready for real life and those jobs? by getting a good education. So basically, education is the foundation for the rest of our lives, so of course, we're going to need the best.

Who would pass up an opportunity to better the ones they love? Who would jip a child from an incredible education that prepares him or her for a grand and promising future? Who would neglect the crucial developing moments in a child's life, providing only the best preparation for life outside of school?

Not a person in their right mind. Better, better, better is what this world promotes, and many advertisers jump on that idea of hope to sell their products. After much abstract and critical thinking, I was enlightened by the fact that private school systems capitalize on to draw students, nay to draw parents, into consuming their product.

One of the private Christian schools in my area is Lakewood Park Christian School. They proudly declare their tagline and purpose: Shaping difference-makers in Christ. Now I'm not saying this is not true, but it definitely draws on a parents hope to give their child only the best. Another private religious school in my area is Bishop Luers High School and College Prep, who's tagline is "Building strong foundations." What kind of a parent wouldn't want that for their child?

These private schools use the advertising technique of hope to sell their school to potential families. Your child will be smarter, stronger, more developed, more prepared for the "real world" if they come to this school. To be human is to seize the day; to take every opportunity for success and advancement that is presented. Our culture tells us that if we are not doing this, we are bad parents or bad friends or bad students.

This idea is valid on some grounds, for we are called to "make the most of every opportunity" (Colossians 4:5), and Jesus said in John 10:10, "I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full." Scripture also talks endlessly about selfishness and how we are a depraved people, fallen short of the glory of God, which explains our desire for success and only the best. We are selfish and competitive by nature, so naturally, we are going to want to rise above and have our kids rise above. 
But also, I think we were created for love and to be loved, so part of our human nature wants the best for those we love, like our children, as well. 1 John is all about loving others, and loving them selflessly. That is the new commandment Jesus gave us. So we live in this tension of desiring the best for ourselves and living in selfish gain (which Philippians 2 addresses) and living defined by the Spirit of Love that is from Christ.
We are called to be stewards of what we are given, to maximize opportunities and gifts, and to live life fully and rooted and grounded in love. Hope is a good thing. It is promised in the gospel, and it the gospel delivers a hope that no one can strip us of. But when used in the wrong way, when hope is given falsely, what is good can turn bad.

Ephesians 5:15-20
 Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise,  making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil.  Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is.  Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit,  speaking to one another with psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit. Sing and make music from your heart to the Lord,  always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.

No comments:

Post a Comment