Strategies for Seeing Anew #15
…towards finding worth through love
What does this mean?
Loving ourselves appropriately matters. Jesus said, ‘Love your neighbour as yourself’ (Matthew 22:39). To do that we need to find a way of sensing our worth without becoming self-centred.
Our deep-felt need to know that we matter can result in low self-esteem if we are not affirmed. It can also result in an inappropriate sense of our own importance if we bolster that need by status, power and a misuse of relationships. If we raise self-esteem but ignore the negative parts of our characters we will create a fragile sense of worth that does not face reality (Romans 3:23).
Jesus underlined human worth. He welcomed the sinners and outcasts of his day (John 6:37). Christians find a deep significance in being created, loved and forgiven by God. This gives people the freedom to face their sin without their sense of worth crumbling (Romans 5:8). Salvation is grace – the gift of God – we cannot earn it. This can give a deep sense of security as it does not rely on achievements.
A sense of worth should be enhanced by loving relationships within the community of Christians, in order to turn outwards and serve others. In the Bible this is often described as encouragement and building each other up (1 Thessalonians 5:11). We can be honest about our abilities without boasting; we can thank God for them.
This section is about moving towards finding worth through love. You may wish to think about where people move from; is it a move from a distorted view of self or from a lack of awareness that we can find our worth through love?
What does this mean in school?
This view of worth will affect the planning of lessons and the people we select to focus on in subjects such as English, religious education and history:
- The heroes we select can have flaws but still be models and people whose actions were worthwhile.
- We can choose some unsung people or groups who make a difference in the world.
- In literature, we can include a focus on the characters whose integrity stands out and who made a difference to their neighbours but didn't necessarily do anything conventionally heroic. We can also look at characters who are despised and ask what effect that has.
- In personal development (PSHE), teaching about ‘self-esteem’ can be from within a Christian framework.
- We can look at the message our testing and assessment is sending and what we reward and respond to in school. Are our systems undermining students' sense of significance and worth?
Think of occasions when students’ low or inappropriate self-esteem has been a problem in school. Identify a lesson/unit where the teaching and learning could reinforce a different message. An English lesson can explore various characters’ significance and worth. The teaching and learning can supply a means of engaging with the content that does not allow students with inappropriate self-esteem to dominate.
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In this document:
1Once again Jesus used stories to teach the people: 2The kingdom of heaven is like what happened when a king gave a wedding banquet for his son. 3The king sent some servants to tell the invited guests to come to the banquet, but the guests refused. 4He sent other servants to say to the guests, The banquet is ready! My cattle and prize calves have all been prepared. Everything is ready. Come to the banquet! 5But the guests did not pay any attention. Some of them left for their farms, and some went to their places of business. 6Others grabbed the servants, then beat them up and killed them. 7This made the king so furious that he sent an army to kill those murderers and burn down their city. 8Then he said to the servants, It is time for the wedding banquet, and the invited guests don't deserve to come. 9Go out to the street corners and tell everyone you meet to come to the banquet. 10They went out into the streets and brought in everyone they could find, good and bad alike. And the banquet room was filled with guests. 11When the king went in to meet the guests, he found that one of them wasn't wearing the right kind of clothes for the wedding. 12The king asked, Friend, why didn't you wear proper clothes for the wedding? But the guest had no excuse. 13So the king gave orders for that person to be tied hand and foot and to be thrown outside into the dark. That's where people will cry and grit their teeth in pain. 14Many are invited, but only a few are chosen. Paying taxes (Mark 12.13-17; Luke 20.20-26) 15The Pharisees got together and planned how they could trick Jesus into saying something wrong. 16They sent some of their followers and some of Herod's followers to say to him, Teacher, we know that you are honest. You teach the truth about what God wants people to do. And you treat everyone with the same respect, no matter who they are. 17Tell us what you think! Should we pay taxes to the Emperor or not? 18Jesus knew their evil thoughts and said, Why are you trying to test me? You show-offs! 19Let me see one of the coins used for paying taxes. They brought him a silver coin, 20and he asked, Whose picture and name are on it? 21The Emperor's, they answered. Then Jesus told them, Give the Emperor what belongs to him and give God what belongs to God. 22His answer surprised them so much that they walked away. Life in the future world (Mark 12.18-27; Luke 20.27-40) 23The Sadducees did not believe that people would rise to life after death. So that same day some of the Sadducees came to Jesus and said: 24Teacher, Moses wrote that if a married man dies and has no children, his brother should marry the widow. Their first son would then be thought of as the son of the dead brother. 25Once there were seven brothers who lived here. The first one married, but died without having any children. So his wife was left to his brother. 26The same thing happened to the second and third brothers and finally to all seven of them. 27At last the woman died. 28When God raises people from death, whose wife will this woman be? She had been married to all seven brothers. 29Jesus answered: You are completely wrong! You don't know what the Scriptures teach. And you don't know anything about the power of God. 30When God raises people to life, they won't marry. They will be like the angels in heaven. 31And as for people being raised to life, God was speaking to you when he said, 32I am the God worshipped by Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. He isn't the God of the dead, but of the living. 33The crowds were surprised to hear what Jesus was teaching. The most important commandment (Mark 12.28-34; Luke 10.25-28) 34After Jesus had made the Sadducees look foolish, the Pharisees heard about it and got together. 35One of them was an expert in the Jewish Law. So he tried to test Jesus by asking, 36Teacher, what is the most important commandment in the Law? 37Jesus answered: Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, and mind. 38This is the first and most important commandment. 39The second most important commandment is like this one. And it is, Love others as much as you love yourself. 40All the Law of Moses and the Books of the Prophets are based on these two commandments. About David's son (Mark 12.35-37; Luke 20.41-44) 41While the Pharisees were still there, Jesus asked them, 42What do you think about the Messiah? Whose family will he come from? They answered, He will be a son of King David. 43Jesus replied, How then could the Spirit lead David to call the Messiah his Lord? David said, 44The Lord said to my Lord: Sit at my right side until I make your enemies into a footstool for you. 45If David called the Messiah his Lord, how can the Messiah be a son of King David? 46No one was able to give Jesus an answer, and from that day on, no one dared ask him any more questions. Jesus condemns the Pharisees and the teachers of the Law of Moses (Mark 12.38-40; Luke 11.37-52; 20.45-47)
1What good is it to be a Jew? What good is it to be circumcised? 2It is good in a lot of ways! First of all, God's messages were spoken to the Jews. 3It is true that some of them did not believe the message. But does this mean that God cannot be trusted, just because they did not have faith? 4No, indeed! God tells the truth, even if everyone else is a liar. The Scriptures say about God, Your words will be proved true, and in court you will win your case. 5If our evil deeds show how right God is, then what can we say? Is it wrong for God to become angry and punish us? What a foolish thing to ask. 6But the answer is, No. Otherwise, how could God judge the world? 7Since your lies bring great honour to God by showing how truthful he is, you may ask why God still says you are a sinner. 8You might as well say, Let's do something evil, so that something good will come of it! Some people even claim that we are saying this. But God is fair and will judge them as well. No one is good 9What does all this mean? Does it mean that we Jews are better off than the Gentiles? No, it doesn't! Jews, as well as Gentiles, are ruled by sin, just as I have said. 10The Scriptures tell us, No one is acceptable to God! 11Not one of them understands or even searches for God. 12They have all turned away and are worthless. There isn't one person who does right. 13Their words are like an open pit, and their tongues are good only for telling lies. Each word is as deadly as the fangs of a snake, 14and they say nothing but bitter curses. 15These people quickly become violent. 16Wherever they go, they leave ruin and destruction. 17They don't know how to live in peace. 18They don't even fear God. 19We know that everything in the Law was written for those who are under its power. The Law says these things to stop anyone from making excuses and to let God show that the whole world is guilty. 20God doesn't accept people simply because they obey the Law. No, indeed! All the Law does is to point out our sin. 21Now we see how God does make us acceptable to him. The Law and the Prophets tell how we become acceptable, and it isn't by obeying the Law of Moses. 22God treats everyone alike. He accepts people only because they have faith in Jesus Christ. 23All of us have sinned and fallen short of God's glory. 24But God treats us much better than we deserve, and because of Christ Jesus, he freely accepts us and sets us free from our sins. 25God sent Christ to be our sacrifice. Christ offered his life's blood, so that by faith in him we could come to God. And God did this to show that in the past he was right to be patient and forgive sinners. This also shows that God is right when he accepts people who have faith in Jesus. 27What is left for us to boast about? Not a thing! Is it because we obeyed some law? No! It is because of faith. 28We see that people are acceptable to God because they have faith, and not because they obey the Law. 29Does God belong only to the Jews? Isn't he also the God of the Gentiles? Yes, he is! 30There is only one God, and he accepts Gentiles as well as Jews, simply because of their faith. 31Do we destroy the Law by our faith? Not at all! We make it even more powerful. The example of Abraham
1Jesus crossed Lake Galilee, which was also known as Lake Tiberias. 2A large crowd had seen him perform miracles to heal the sick, and those people went with him. 3It was almost time for the Jewish festival of Passover, and Jesus went up on a mountain with his disciples and sat down. 5When Jesus saw the large crowd coming towards him, he asked Philip, Where will we get enough food to feed all these people? 6He said this to test Philip, since he already knew what he was going to do. 7Philip answered, Don't you know that it would take almost a year's wages just to buy only a little bread for each of these people? 8Andrew, the brother of Simon Peter, was one of the disciples. He spoke up and said, 9There is a boy here who has five small loaves of barley bread and two fish. But what good is that with all these people? 10The ground was covered with grass, and Jesus told his disciples to make everyone sit down. About five thousand men were in the crowd. 11Jesus took the bread in his hands and gave thanks to God. Then he passed the bread to the people, and he did the same with the fish, until everyone had plenty to eat. 12The people ate all they wanted, and Jesus told his disciples to gather up the leftovers, so that nothing would be wasted. 13The disciples gathered them up and filled twelve large baskets with what was left over from the five barley loaves. 14After the people had seen Jesus perform this miracle, they began saying, This must be the Prophet who is to come into the world! 15Jesus realized that they would try to force him to be their king. So he went up on a mountain, where he could be alone. Jesus walks on the water (Matthew 14.22-27; Mark 6.45-52) 16That evening, Jesus' disciples went down to the lake. 17They got into a boat and set off for Capernaum. Later that evening Jesus had still not come to them, 18and a strong wind was making the water rough. 19When the disciples had rowed for five or six kilometres, they saw Jesus walking on the water. He kept coming closer to the boat, and they were terrified. 20But he said, I am Jesus! Don't be afraid! 21The disciples wanted to take him into the boat, but suddenly the boat reached the shore where they were headed. The bread that gives life 22The people who had stayed on the east side of the lake knew that only one boat had been there. They also knew that Jesus had not left in it with his disciples. But the next day 23some boats from Tiberias sailed near the place where the crowd had eaten the bread for which the Lord had given thanks. 24They saw that Jesus and his disciples had left. Then they got into the boats and went to Capernaum to look for Jesus. 25They found him on the west side of the lake and asked, Rabbi, when did you get here? 26Jesus answered, I tell you for certain that you are not looking for me because you saw the miracles, but because you ate all the food you wanted. 27Don't work for food that spoils. Work for food that gives eternal life. The Son of Man will give you this food, because God the Father has given him the right to do so. 28What exactly does God want us to do? the people asked. 29Jesus answered, God wants you to have faith in the one he sent. 30They replied, What miracle will you perform, so that we can have faith in you? What will you do? 31For example, when our ancestors were in the desert, they were given manna to eat. It happened just as the Scriptures say, God gave them bread from heaven to eat. 32Jesus then told them, I tell you for certain that Moses wasn't the one who gave you bread from heaven. My Father is the one who gives you the true bread from heaven. 33And the bread that God gives is the one who came down from heaven to give life to the world. 34The people said, Lord, give us this bread and don't ever stop! 35Jesus replied: I am the bread that gives life! No one who comes to me will ever be hungry. No one who has faith in me will ever be thirsty. 36I have told you already that you have seen me and still do not have faith in me. 37Everything and everyone that the Father has given me will come to me, and I won't turn any of them away. 38I didn't come from heaven to do what I want! I came to do what the Father wants me to do. He sent me, 39and he wants to make certain that none of the ones he has given me will be lost. Instead, he wants me to raise them to life on the last day. 40My Father wants everyone who sees the Son to have faith in him and to have eternal life. Then I will raise them to life on the last day. 41The people started grumbling because Jesus had said he was the bread that had come down from heaven. 42They were asking each other, Isn't he Jesus, the son of Joseph? Don't we know his father and mother? How can he say that he has come down from heaven? 43Jesus told them: Stop grumbling! 44No one can come to me, unless the Father who sent me makes them want to come. But if they do come, I will raise them to life on the last day. 45One of the prophets wrote, God will teach all of them. And so everyone who listens to the Father and learns from him will come to me. 46The only one who has seen the Father is the one who has come from him. No one else has ever seen the Father. 47I tell you for certain that everyone who has faith in me has eternal life. 48I am the bread that gives life! 49Your ancestors ate manna in the desert, and later they died. 50But the bread from heaven has come down, so that no one who eats it will ever die. 51I am that bread from heaven! Everyone who eats it will live for ever. My flesh is the life-giving bread that I give to the people of this world. 52They started arguing with each other and asked, How can he give us his flesh to eat? 53Jesus answered: I tell you for certain that you won't live unless you eat the flesh and drink the blood of the Son of Man. 54But if you do eat my flesh and drink my blood, you will have eternal life, and I will raise you to life on the last day. 55My flesh is the true food, and my blood is the true drink. 56If you eat my flesh and drink my blood, you are one with me, and I am one with you. 57The living Father sent me, and I have life because of him. Now everyone who eats my flesh will live because of me. 58The bread that comes down from heaven isn't like what your ancestors ate. They died, but whoever eats this bread will live for ever. 59Jesus was teaching in a Jewish place of worship in Capernaum when he said these things. The words of eternal life 60Many of Jesus' disciples heard him and said, This is too hard for anyone to understand. 61Jesus knew that his disciples were grumbling. So he asked, Does this bother you? 62What if you should see the Son of Man go up to heaven where he came from? 63The Spirit is the one who gives life! Human strength can do nothing. The words that I have spoken to you are from that life-giving Spirit. 64But some of you refuse to have faith in me. Jesus said this, because from the beginning he knew who would have faith in him. He also knew which one would betray him. 65Then Jesus said, You cannot come to me, unless the Father makes you want to come. That is why I have told these things to all of you. 66Because of what Jesus said, many of his disciples turned their backs on him and stopped following him. 67Jesus then asked his twelve disciples if they were going to leave him. 68Simon Peter answered, Lord, there is no one else that we can go to! Your words give eternal life. 69We have faith in you, and we are sure that you are God's Holy One. 70Jesus told his disciples, I chose all twelve of you, but one of you is a demon! 71Jesus was talking about Judas, the son of Simon Iscariot. He would later betray Jesus, even though he was one of the twelve disciples. Jesus' brothers don't have faith in him
1By faith we have been made acceptable to God. And now, because of our Lord Jesus Christ, we live at peace with God. 2Christ has also introduced us to God's undeserved kindness on which we take our stand. So we are happy, as we look forward to sharing in the glory of God. 3But that's not all! We gladly suffer, because we know that suffering helps us to endure. 4And endurance builds character, which gives us a hope 5that will never disappoint us. All this happens because God has given us the Holy Spirit, who fills our hearts with his love. 6Christ died for us at a time when we were helpless and sinful. 7No one is really willing to die for an honest person, though someone might be willing to die for a truly good person. 8But God showed how much he loved us by having Christ die for us, even though we were sinful. 9But there is more! Now that God has accepted us because Christ sacrificed his life's blood, we will also be kept safe from God's anger. 10Even when we were God's enemies, he made peace with us, because his Son died for us. Yet something even greater than friendship is ours. Now that we are at peace with God, we will be saved by his Son's life. 11And in addition to everything else, we are happy because God sent our Lord Jesus Christ to make peace with us. Adam and Christ 12Adam sinned, and that sin brought death into the world. Now everyone has sinned, and so everyone must die. 13Sin was in the world before the Law came. But no record of sin was kept, because there was no Law. 14Yet death still had power over all who lived from the time of Adam to the time of Moses. This happened, though not everyone disobeyed a direct command from God, as Adam did. In some ways Adam is like Christ who came later. 15But the gift that God was kind enough to give was very different from Adam's sin. That one sin brought death to many others. Yet in an even greater way, Jesus Christ alone brought God's gift of kindness to many people. 16There is a lot of difference between Adam's sin and God's gift. That one sin led to punishment. But God's gift made it possible for us to be acceptable to him, even though we have sinned many times. 17Death ruled like a king because Adam had sinned. But that cannot compare with what Jesus Christ has done. God has been so kind to us, and he has accepted us because of Jesus. And so we will live and rule like kings. 18Everyone was going to be punished because Adam sinned. But because of the good thing that Christ has done, God accepts us and gives us the gift of life. 19Adam disobeyed God and caused many others to be sinners. But Jesus obeyed him and will make many people acceptable to God. 20The Law came, so that the full power of sin could be seen. Yet where sin was powerful, God's kindness was even more powerful. 21Sin ruled by means of death. But God's kindness now rules, and God has accepted us because of Jesus Christ our Lord. This means that we will have eternal life. Dead to sin but alive because of Christ
1I don't need to write to you about the time or date when all this will happen. 2You know that the Lord's return will be as a thief coming at night. 3People will think they are safe and secure. But destruction will suddenly strike them like the pains of a woman about to give birth. And they won't escape. 4My dear friends, you don't live in darkness, and so that day won't surprise you like a thief. 5You belong to the light and live in the day. We don't live in the night or belong to the dark. 6Others may sleep, but we should stay awake and be alert. 7People sleep during the night, and some even get drunk. 8But we belong to the day. So we must stay sober and let our faith and love be like a suit of armour. Our firm hope that we will be saved is our helmet. 9God doesn't intend to punish us, but wants us to be saved by our Lord Jesus Christ. 10Christ died for us, so that we could live with him, whether we are alive or dead when he comes. 11That's why you must encourage and help each other, just as you are already doing. 12My friends, we ask you to be thoughtful of your leaders who work hard and tell you how to live for the Lord. 13Show them great respect and love because of their work. Try to get along with each other. 14My friends, we beg you to warn anyone who isn't living right. Encourage anyone who feels left out, help all who are weak, and be patient with everyone. 15Don't be hateful to people, just because they are hateful to you. Rather, be good to each other and to everyone else. 16Always be joyful 17and never stop praying. 18Whatever happens, keep thanking God because of Jesus Christ. This is what God wants you to do. 19Don't turn away God's Spirit 20or ignore prophecies. 21Put everything to the test. Accept what is good 22and don't have anything to do with evil. 23I pray that God, who gives peace, will make you completely holy. And may your spirit, soul, and body be kept healthy and faultless until our Lord Jesus Christ returns. 24The one who chose you can be trusted, and he will do this. 25Friends, please pray for us. 26Give the Lord's followers a warm greeting. 27In the name of the Lord I beg you to read this letter to all his followers. 28I pray that our Lord Jesus Christ will be kind to you!