May 24, 2013
Oct 04 - Rev. Lonnie C. Crowe
Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one!
You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength.
And these words which I command you today shall be in your heart.
You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house,
when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up.
Deuteronomy 6:4-7 (NKJV)
One reason that education in our nation has lost its moral focus is that Christians, in general, have not been proactive in our faith. Proactive people act in order to prevent a negative outcome instead of simply reacting to the negative outcome when it is accomplished. Even though we have been negligent in the past, we must live and move in the hope that, in Christ, all things can be made new.
If we follow the Word of the Lord and diligently teach our children, they should enter the school system already steeped in the truth that will set them free. However, many Christians removed prayer from their homes before it was removed from their schools. If we are not praying with our children in our homes, what right do we have to expect prayer in our schools?
Now is the time to act and to act effectively. Before we can act effectively, we need strategy. The first step in formulating strategy is to pray for strategy. When I took that step, the Holy Spirit led me once again to Steven R. Covey’s book, Seven Habits of Highly Effective People.
The first habit of highly effective people is to be proactive. “Proactive people use their resourcefulness and initiative to find solutions rather than just reporting problems and waiting for other people to solve them. . . . Being proactive means assessing the situation and developing a positive response for it.” (1)
Being proactive means focusing attention and energy where we have the most influence. Because we have the most influence over our own behaviors, our behaviors should be where we focus attention and energy. As a teenager, I often read the comic strip Pogo by Walt Kelly. Pogo was an opossum who lived in the Okefenokee Swamp. Pogo was no ordinary opossum; he was a philosopher filled with wisdom concerning worldly situations. One of my favorite scenes pictures Pogo saying, “We have met the enemy, and he is us.” That simple comic strip changed my life. I knew with whom I had to battle. Because of our passivity and inaction as Christians, we have become our own enemy and have actually fed into Satan’s plan to secularize the world. It is time to battle the enemy within.
Now that we have assessed the situation and know where we must focus our attention and energy, it is time to develop a positive response. In my previous article, I wrote about reversing the curses we have spoken over our educational system by praying and speaking blessings. We must now put some feet to our prayers and proclamations. We must personally become a blessing to the educational system. We can do that by becoming involved.
Even if we are not allowed to speak or act overtly, when we enter a location or situation, we carry with us the presence of the Lord. Therefore, even if we have no children involved, we can carry the presence of the Lord into athletic events, concerts, plays and other activities. If we have children and grandchildren involved, if possible, we must to be in attendance for support and encouragement. We can prayer walk around the campuses of our schools, colleges and universities. We can find out what volunteer programs are in place and make ourselves available. We can run for school boards where we can have a voice.
While we should be cautious about supporting all the tenets of the National Education Association, we can support American Education week, November 11-17. Make plans now to touch the lives of both educators and students. Place an ad in a newspaper sending a positive message; send cards, “goodie baskets” and/or flowers to faculty workrooms. Perhaps your church can sponsor a “Bless Education Sunday” on November 11.
While we are not happy with much that is taking place in our educational system, we must remember Proverbs 10:12, “Hatred stirs up strife, but love covers all sins” (NKJV). When we fail to act in love, our words become “sounding brass or a clanging cymbal” (1 Corinthians 13:1). Acting in love must be an integral part of our strategy.
We must pray, not only over our educational system, but over ourselves as well in order act in love and to be successfully proactive.
1. Pray Psalm 19:14: “Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in Your sight, O Lord, my strength and my Redeemer.” (NKJV)
2. Pray Psalm 49:3: “My mouth shall speak wisdom, and the meditation of my heart shall give understanding.” (NKJV)
3. Pray for wisdom. James 1:5: “If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him.” (NKJV)
Let’s follow the admonition of the apostle James and become doers of the word lest we become deceived. (James 1:22) It is time to return to the basics: let’s reestablish the altars of prayer and godliness in our homes. Let’s diligently teach the Word of the Lord to our children. Let’s be a blessing to our educational system.
1. Summary of Stephen R. Covey’s The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, QuickMBA, http://quickmba.com/7hab/ (Used by writtenn permission.)