Wednesday, June 23, 2004

Renewing the Mind

For the past three years, I have been undergoing a renewing of my thoughts on what true education is. I get so excited to learn about it, that I can never get enough. Even though I may have read some things over and over again and say, "Yes, I know that truth", I still love reading it again, letting it sink into my soul and take root. I have been greatly influenced by the writings of Marilyn Howshall, Cindy Rushton, John Taylor Gatto, and Chris & Ellyn Davis. (Links to their websites are off to the left of this page.) If you've read their writings, you may hear their voices in what I have to say.

James 3:13-16 says, "Who is wise and understanding among you? Let him show it by his good life, by deeds done in the humility that comes from wisdom. But if you harbor bitter envy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast about it or deny the truth. Such "wisdom" does not come down from heaven, but is earthly, unspiritual, of the devil. For where you have envy and selfish ambition, there you find disorder and every evil practice." Isn't this what "school" is about--competition to have the best grade, selfish ambition to advance yourself. James 3:17 says, "BUT the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure, then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere." Does this describe any school we know of today? Are the children pure (morally clean)? Are they peace-loving? Are they considerate? Are they submissive (to their parents, to those in authority over them)? Are they full of mercy and good fruit? Are they impartial (not favoring one person or group over another) and sincere (without deceit or dishonesty)?

Please understand that when I speak of these things it is not my intention to downgrade the people involved in the system. It is not the people, it is the system that breeds this. You'll see the reason it does below.

Colossians 2:2-3 says, "My purpose is that they may be encouraged in heart and united in love, so that they may have the full riches of complete understanding, in order that they may know the mystery of God, namely, Christ, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge." Think about that last part. It says that in Christ all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge are hidden. If this is true (& I do believe it is because Jesus said in John 17:17, "Your word is truth."), how can a system that denies Christ give knowledge when that treasure is hidden in Him? It's impossible. God says that there is a way that seems right to a person, but the end of it is death. (Proverbs 14:12) It may have seemed perfectly right and normal to us when we were all part of the system of public schooling, but the end of it is death to true learning. True learning has something beyond test-taking and grade-making for its goal. It is meant to lead us to our God, to His destiny for our lives. I thought I was being educated when I was in school. I found out later, though, that it didn't prepare me for the real world; it certainly didn't give me a vision for what God wanted to do in my life, what HE wanted me to be (a wife and mother), quite the opposite actually. I thought I was being educated, but I was really being schooled. They are not the same thing. The goal of "schooling" is to conform students to the world's image. God's goal is to conform us to the image of Christ, which brings us full circle back to where all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge are hidden.

1 comment:

Michele Hastings said...

LOVEDIT! LOVED IT! LOVED IT! Especially the line about true education leading you to God and His destiny for your life!!!! Right on! You go girl!