‘For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life’. John 3:16
Recently I had the opportunity to listen to Vicki Gollasch speak about the work of ALWS and the teaching of our students about service; practical ways in which we can serve were shared.
Vicki began her presentation with a quote from Bill Hybels, former pastor of Willow Creek church in Chicago. The words of Pastor Hybel, “You have never looked in the eyes of someone who does not matter to God”,have haunted me for several weeks now.
What powerful words and how true are they!
One of the ‘values’ we had at my last school as principal, was the phrase, ‘in our community, everyone matters’. I held those words strongly and promoted them with what I thought was great vigour, however, Bill’s words have made me pause. While I did believe strongly in this phrase, Bill’s words have added, for me, a richer and deeper recognition of the ‘other’.
Every day we interact with a variety of people. Some of these interactions are a joy to have, others can be frustrating to those which annoy us or bring all sorts of negative thoughts about an individual. There are those with whom we connect and those whom we aim to avoid if possible.
There are those students in our class that are a pleasure to teach, there are those that do their work and behave and don’t make life hard for us, and then there are those who we wonder why they are at the school.
Bill’s words are confronting – they challenge the very internal thought processes and attitudes which we may have about certain individuals. An individual for whom Christ also died, an individual whom God also loves unconditionally, an individual who also has been given the same gift of grace which we have received; they also matter to God.
Yes, everyone in our community matters – but they matter because God loves each and everyone of us equally, no matter our annoying habits, our attitudes, our personality.
Challenge: Next time you are confronted by negative thoughts about someone (as hard as it is), remember, God loves them as much as you – they matter. You have never looked in the eyes of someone who does not matter to God.
PRAYER: Heavenly Father. Thankyou that you died for all – no matter who they are, or what they do or say. Everyone to you matters and we rejoice in the promise given through your Son, of eternal life. Bless all our interactions as we work and serve in your name. Amen.
Director: Leadership & School Improvement