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.

Lover of Sleep: Proverbs for the Young

Friday Assembly: Headmaster’s Address (December 2, 2016)

Proverbs 20:13
Do not love sleep, lest you come to poverty;
Open your eyes, and you will be satisfied with bread.

Old man asleep by a fire
Painting by Rembrandt

This is a hard proverb for me to hear. If you know me well, you know that I love to sleep—especially in the mornings. I love sleeping in and waking up late. If it were not for this proverb and others like it, I might be very tempted to sleep in all the time. Praise God He has taught me wisdom so that I do not become poor. God has taught me the dangers of loving too much sleep. In the Army when I was a soldier I had to wake every day before the sun would rise. God was teaching me how to wake up and be ready for work. Now that I work at a school I have to wake up extra early each day to help get everything ready for school.

How early do you wake up each day? Do you wake up and open your eyes ready to be satisfied? Do you wake early enough to help your parents get everything ready for School? Remember this proverb… do not be a lover of sleep.

Dishonest Scales: Proverbs for the Young

Friday Assembly: Headmaster’s Address (November 18, 2016)

Proverbs 20:23 (NKJV)
Diverse weights are an abomination to the LORD,
And dishonest scales are not good.

What does it mean to have diverse weights and dishonest scales? It means to measure things incorrectly in a way that cheats people.

We still use scales today. At Fred Meyer when you buy bananas, they are 59 cents a pound. You have to use a scale to know how much a bundle of bananas costs. If the scale at the cash register is dishonest, it says that you are buying two pounds of bananas when you actually only have one pound. The cashier charges you double for your bananas.

In this proverb, we learn that God hates this kind of deceitfulness, this kind of lie. In this proverb we learn not to cheat people with tricks of false measurements.

If you trade Pokemon cards, don’t cheat younger kids by telling them their card is not very good so that they will let you have it. That is using a dishonest scale for your own advantage. If you play sports, don’t claim that the same ball is “in-bounds” for your team but “out-of-bounds” for the other team. That is using diverse measurements, a thing the Lord hates.

Be honest and true and avoid dishonest scales.