A Good Name: Proverbs for the Young

Friday Assembly: Headmaster’s Address (January 27, 2017)

Proverbs 22:1 (NKJV)

A good name is to be chosen rather than great riches,
Loving favor rather than silver and gold.

Coin Stock PhotosDo you know one of the things I like? One of the things I really like? Riches. You know why? Because if I had riches, I could buy the really big Lego sets. You know—like the Death Star, the ones that cost over a hundred dollars. If I had riches, I could buy a car, a really nice car, like an Aston Martin. Riches are a good thing. If I had enough riches, I could build our very own school building, complete with a basketball court, an archery range, and a library like the one in the Beast’s castle. It would be nice to have riches.

This proverb has a lesson to teach us. There is something even greater than riches that we should desire. We must grow to be men and women who desire a good name above riches and all the nice things that riches bring.

What exactly is a good name? Today we call having a good name: character. What does it mean to have character? It means that you are known for your actions. If you have done good in the past, people can rightfully expect that you will do good in the future.

If you have turned your homework in on time many Fridays in the past, your teacher can rightfully trust that you will turn your homework in on time this Friday. If you have spoken kindly and respectfully for the first half of the school year, your friends can rightfully trust that you will speak kindly and respectfully for the second half of the school year.

How you act will define what people think of you. Will they think you are trustworthy, truthful, and friendly? Or will your past actions make them think you are unreliable, deceitful, and unkind?

I want you all to have a good name. I want this school to have a good name. The first step in having a good name is to properly value the worth of it. It is better than gold and silver.

What Do You Love? Proverbs for the Young

Friday Assembly: Headmaster’s Address (January 6, 2017)

Proverbs 21:17 (NKJV)
He who loves pleasure will be a poor man;
He who loves wine and oil will not be rich.

The Adoration of the Magi, by Giotto

What do you love? You have to be careful with what you love. If you are just a lover of things, this proverb has a warning for you. If you just love having good things, you may not be able to afford to have good things. If you just love pleasure, if you just love feeling good, if you just love having fun, you are on the road to becoming poor.

This proverb warns us not to focus just on pleasure. What kind of things bring you pleasure? Getting the high score on a video game? Reading the next fantasy novel in a series? These things are not bad of themselves. But when they take over our life, when we become obsessed with them so much that we ignore our work, we don’t set ourselves up for success. If building the next Lego masterpiece always takes your time away from doing your chores, you are building your character in a way that does not lead to wealth.

Now why is it that we want wealth? Why do we want to love diligence instead of pleasure so we can become rich?

Today is a church holiday called Epiphany. On this day, some rich men came from the East to a little town called Bethlehem. These men were rich but they gained treasure not for themselves, but to lay it at the feet of a little baby. They used their wealth to praise the newborn Savior Jesus.

The wealth that we gain through diligence should be gained for this same reason, to lay it at the feet of our Savior in his service.

He who loves pleasure will be a poor man.

He who loves Jesus will be rich indeed.