A Matter of the Heart, Part 2: The 6th “R”

A Matter of the Heart, Part 2: The 6th “R”

“The silent influence of parental conduct is far greater, either for good or for evil, than most parents are aware of. You teach by what you say, you influence by what you do; and also by what you do not say, and do not perform… O parents, parents! Take care what you are teaching your children by your example… Not a day passes, but you produce impressions, perhaps permanent impressions—either good or bad!”

We saw those words of John Angell James last week, and now we come to the next-to-last Character Comment for this school year. My heart is burdened for the matter of the heart. That is the key for both our own and our children’s character development in Christ.

As we learned this year from J. R. Miller, “This world is not a place merely to live in, nor a place in which to do certain kinds of business; it is a great workshop in which to make godly men [and women]” (Young People’s Problems, Chapter 19).  In that chapter we read this: “A baby is not a man. It may be very beautiful and sweet, and may have folded up in its life many fine possibilities; but it is only a baby. All its lessons have yet to be learned, its powers have yet to be developed, the capacities that lie folded up in its hand and brain and heart—have yet to be brought out and trained, its character has to be fashioned into loveliness and strength. The education begins at once, with the mother for teacher and the home for schoolroom; but the process must be slow, and it will require a long time… As the child gets older, other teachers come in and do their work, and the sphere of the education widens.”

Character Advocates, what is our influence in the making of godly character? What really is, or ought to be, our primary concern? Here’s another character quote to ponder: When we “offer morality by external control instead of inner transformation—when the controls go away, so does the morality” (Joel Belz). That needs to be repeated for our remembering.  Again: When we “offer morality by external control instead of inner transformation—when the controls go away, so does the morality.”  Learn this lesson well; when Samuel was seeking the next King of Israel to replace the one who had failed so miserably, he was instructed not to be fooled again by mere appearances, but to look to the heart. Why? – Because all that we do is based upon who we are, and that is a matter of the heart. Is this not the point our Lord continually makes in referencing the issues of the heart in Matt. 15? Recall that the Law which Moses carried from the mountain top was permanently inscribed on stone by the indelible finger of God. It is likewise now to be inscribed upon the heart, so that it may endure even more surely, even into eternity.

So I ask again, what is our influence in this making of godly character? Let me suggest that it is the 6th “R”—our relationship to our God and one another—that is the key.  Let me close with one question:  Stop and think for a moment, who are those that have had the most influence upon your life, giving shape to who you are today, both in a positive or negative way?

…to be continued one last time.

 

— Joe LoGiudice, Principal