Legal and Graceful
Christians in public schools have a unique tightrope to walk. On one hand, we are told that there can be no mention of God in our public schools and on the other hand we see that we do not lose our First Amendment rights when we walk through the classroom door. How can we be both legal and grace-filled Christians? Everything begins in prayer. Ask God to reveal how He wants you to glorify Him in your public school. Seek His wisdom through His Word and be united with other Christians.
Educators in the public schools need to know the first 16 words of the First Amendment to the United States Constitution and the 9 fruits of the Spirit. Let’s examine both. The first 16 words of the First Amendment are: Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances. The 9 fruits of the Spirit are listed in Galatians 5:22-23 “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.”
The first 16 words of the First Amendment help us as educators and administrators understand our important role as teachers. While we are serving on the job, we are “Congress.” We can make no law respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof. In other words, we can neither encourage nor discourage the free exercise of religion. When we begin our official day on the clock, we put on our “Congress hat.” When we are off the clock, we take off our “Congress hat.” The 9 fruits of the Spirit can and should be worn whether we are on the clock or off the clock. What school wouldn’t want a faculty and staff of educators who are practicing love, joy, peace, goodness, kindness, gentleness, patience, self-control and faithfulness?
For more information, read a portion of the 16-9 blog.