My thoughts on making choices about education during the current pandemic.
2 Timothy 1:7 - "For God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control."
Blog post titled “No Fear in Education”
Fear for their safety if they go to school in person
Fear for their emotional health if they go to school with restrictions (no physical contact, wearing masks, fewer enrichment opportunities)
Fear they won’t have necessary socialization if they stay home to do school virtually or through homeschool
Fear they won’t be exposed to common viruses and will have a weak immune system if they stay home or wear a mask
Because fear is a strong motivator, but not always a good one, this has caused people to have very strong opinions about re-opening school
Fear narrows our perspective
It causes us to be defensive and lash out when others disagree with us
We are afraid of the affects not opening schools will have on our children, so we push hard for school to go back to normal, and often unintentionally mitigate the concerns of other parents and teachers.
We are afraid for our children to go into a dangerous situation or that the restrictions will be too much to handle so we ignore the needs of parents who don’t have as many options as we do, and we write off anyone who would send their kids to school as uncaring.
Whatever choice we make is based on fear, and we allow the what-ifs to control our thoughts and actions and miss out on the opportunities God is placing in your path no matter the choice you make
The opposite of basing our decisions on our fears is rooting our choices in the wisdom of God
This isn’t the same thing as ignoring common sense because we’re “not living in fear.”
James 1:5 - "If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him."
We, as believers, and as US citizens, have freedom in how we choose to educate our children. When you make that choice based on fear, you’re giving up that freedom.
Seek wisdom from God in your education choice this year, and seek the peace of God as you live with that choice.
But don’t seek God’s will with a specific answer in mind.
Remember that God is still sovereign and that he works all things for the good of those who love him. And when those fears and doubts creep in, turn those over to him as well.
Many have made their choice and have a peace about it
Social media can do a lot to steal our peace
Some cautions with social media during this time
As you’re reading posts from others that disagree with you, what is your reaction?
Do you encourage them and thank God they have the courage and the opportunity to make that choice.
Do you allow bitterness to steal your peace and cause you to think negative thoughts about the person even if you don’t want to say them out loud?
Do you lash out at them and try to debate them into thinking like you?
If one of the last two reactions is you, why do you think that is?
Many of us feel like we always have to be right.
If you’re about to post something, please consider your reasoning before you post. What is your motivation?
Do you need validation for your choices because they were made from a place of fear? So you strongly share your opinion, and in the process belittle the concerns of others?
Do you have a need to always be right, and you can’t let an argument go because others might think less of you?
Do you truly want to share information with others and are seeking their well-being?
If the last one is your motivation, and the information you are sharing is reliable, then go ahead. If one of the other two is closer to the truth, please think twice about posting.
Please remember that there is a difference between truth and opinion. God is the one source of truth. He allows us to have different opinions, and we have to remember that sometimes, even opposing opinions can fit within the truth.
Loving each other has to be more important than “being right.”-- 1 John 3:11 - “For this is the message that you have heard from the beginning, that we should love one another.”
Steps to unity
Ask God to reveal to you why you feel the need to share your opinion and why your feelings are hurt when someone disagrees.
Remember the truths in Scripture and that “being right doesn’t always make you right.”
Pray for wisdom and peace for those around you, including those who have a different opinion than you.
James 3:17-18 - “But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere. And a harvest of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace.”
Avoid conflict on social media, but don’t avoid healthy conversations.
Be thankful for the opportunity to choose and remember the multitude of ways God has blessed you, including placing people in your life who are different from you and may challenge your thinking.
How to listen:
Online: Click here to listen online through Libsyn.
Podcast apps: Make sure you subscribe in your favorite podcast app so that you don't miss any episodes!
Do you have any other podcast apps you use? Let me know and I'll try to add them there as well. Make sure you leave a review on iTunes (even if that's not what you use to listen) so that others can find the podcast as well.