Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Independence and Dependence

Last Thursday our faculty participated in the annual Nurturing the Faith day, sponsored by our Rocky Mountain District of the LCMS. I am thankful for this day and for the support of the District for Lutheran educators by sponsoring and preparing this day.

The session was exceptional, led by Pastor Drew Ross of Bethlehem Lutheran Church in Lakewood, CO. I will be sharing a number of quotes from the day in a future post, but for the moment, I would like to focus on a thought which entered my mind during the session.

Much of my work as an educator is focused on helping my students become independent -- to think and work on their own. The contrast is that a living faith in God requires each of us to become DEPENDENT on our Lord -- to trust and rely on him instead of ourselves.

That is a challenge for Lutheran school classrooms. One one hand we encourage independence, but in the spiritual realm, we need to support dependence. My question is whether the message of dependence has come through loud and clear in my teaching of the faith. Or is the message of independence the only one my students are hearing?

If they are only hearing about independence from me or any Christian educator, then we are missing an opportunity to share the joy of dependence on our God. And there is joy in dependence, in recognizing that God has done it all for us, and in knowing that we are entirely dependent on Him for our salvation. As a result, we are freed from worry and guilt because of this dependence. What a blessing!

Here are some questions to think about and discuss:

1. What are some ways we can balance the teaching of both independence and dependence with our students?
2. How can we help our students better understand the blessings and joys that come from faithful dependence on our Lord?

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