In today’s society, many students find it hard to ask their teachers and classmates about their faith.
We asked two students and teachers to participate in an interview about the Christian life. By learning
about different perspectives at CCS,those who struggle with reaching can learn more about their peers
and even gain talking points to start new conversations.
We asked two faculty members, Luke Harvey and Patricia Cone, and two sophomores, Maddie Hester and Kappy Perry, to
participate in this interview.
Luke teaches 10th grade English and has been at CCS for 2 years. He became a Christian fully in high school, even though he has always gone to church.
Patricia teaches 10th grade Geometry and has been at CCS for 6 years. She became a Christian when she was in 10th grade.
Maddie is a 10th grader and has been at CCS since 5th grade. She has been actively pursuing God, but has not yet accepted Jesus in her heart.
Kappy is in 10th grade and has been at CCS since 6th grade. She has been a Christian since she was 3, but got confirmed with her church when she was in 4th grade.
Q. What is the biggest lesson you learned when it comes to faith?
Harvey: That it is okay to not know it all and it is not a problem if you doubt or have questions.
Cone: Grace and Mercy-understanding God started and will finish His work in me. I need His grace and His mercy, for alone I can do nothing.
Hester: The biggest lesson that I have learned from faith is that it takes time to be okay with not always understanding where you’re at in life.
Perry: It is ok to not always believe one hundred percent and no matter what you do, God will always love you.
Q. What is your favorite part of going to church?
Harvey: Worship, communion, and being in something bigger than myself is really cool.
Cone: Renewal of my mind, spirit, and love for God and my fellow man. Worshiping Him through this renewal: in music, prayer and His Word preached.
Hester: My favorite part is seeing everyone come together and just let go for a minute and focus on God and what He's given us.
Perry: The people.
Q. What is the best thing about being a believer?
Harvey: Same [as previous], consistent with reality.
Cone: I’m FREE indeed; NO LONGER a slave to myself, a bond-servant of the world. I’m now serving and a child of GOD ALMIGHTY, the CREATOR of the earth.
Hester: The best thing is that I know I’m not alone, even when I feel like I am; I always have that reassurance that God's love is bigger than my weakness.
Perry: Knowing that nothing you do will ever shock God and He will again love us no matter what; God will never turn his back on us.
Q. Bob Goff says “Love is Stationary”. Do you agree?
Harvey: God doesn’t change so neither does His love.
Cone: If it means it’s still, NO. For my faith, I am constantly growing and learning, transforming into HIS IMAGE. In terms of God, though, YES. HE is the same today, yesterday, and in the future; GOD’s Word and the faith HE puts in our hearts are unchanging.
Hester: I believe that God's love stays the same no matter what, He will not love you any less or any more, His love stays the same.
Perry: Yes, I agree that God's love is always with us and never changes or goes anywhere.
Q. Do you think God intentionally guides us into failure?
Harvey: No, He is allowing us to make decisions, and allowing us to work through them.
Cone: When we were made “IN HIS IMAGE,” he gave us the gift of FREE WILL, so we can choose between good and bad. When we choose the path that is dishonoring to HIS will, we will inevitably be going down a path of failure. Life is a test, and HE works in HIS children as we align with HIS will. SO NO, He’s not guiding us in anything which is against HIS nature.
Hester: No, I believe that everything has a purpose, so I think He intentionally makes our failure be something to learn and build into something better.
Perry: No, God does not lead us to failure;God guides us to better paths. Sometimes failure comes but that is because of our decisions. Aand, God allows us to make decisions, and actions can have consequences.
Q. What advice would you give to those who struggle with seeking perfection?
Harvey: Keep struggling, and learn to live in the struggle.
Cone: Perfection is a matter of self-pride. Taking your eyes off yourself, trusting Him, and living in His presence will counter the temptation to have your eyes on yourself. God will do amazing work in His children, which brings peace and honor to Him when we change that focus, but this is at the root of man’s struggles daily. I know; I struggle with this.
Hester: Don't waste your life away by trying to accomplish perfection ‘cause it's impossible.
Perry: Know that life is hard and struggle comes with it. No one but God is perfect and if you keep thinking you are perfect more struggle will come.
Q. People invest time and energy into developing their career, their bodies, and relationships, but often neglect the spiritual dimension of their lives. How do you actively pursue spiritual growth?
Harvey: Discipline. For example, like going to the gym, sometimes you have to make yourself go because you know it is good. You have to pursue it.
Cone: Daily and constant prayer, intentionally adoring God, confessing my sins and lifting others up is foremost. Reading the Bible and studying it (reading) alone and with other believers and attending church every week, which teaches and worships, also are necessities to keep one on the path of growth.
Hester: Not letting myself get too wrapped up into the silly little things and focus on the bigger picture.
Perry: Pursuance: if you don't pursue God and actively want to know more about Him, you will not grow.
Q. When we are sharing the light and truth of Jesus with others, how should we do so in a way that doesn't come off forcefully?
Harvey: Making sure our professed beliefs and actions are aligned with each other.
Cone: Ideally I want to live the Gospel, preaching the Gospel every minute without a word. I often reach out and ask questions or pray with one who is seeking. I try to always be ready to lead one to know Him and the Gospel by initiating deep conversations, but in a very sincere and loving way, mostly by an empathetic approach for where we all are or were without Christ. Reaching out to share involves establishing a relationship first.
Hester: Clearly stating how it has impacted you and your life. Let them think for themselves if they want to pursue that as well.
Perry: Showing that we are also sinful and don't know everything; we can’t act like we are above them. Learn with them and don't try and shove information on them.
Q. Lastly, what advice would you give to any high school student about the Christian faith?
Harvey: Keep searching even though you may not feel like you’re getting
anywhere because feeling doesn’t equal reality.
Cone: Faith is a non-negotiable, inevitable, urgent response to God, Who is self-evident on this earth, and is a matter of life or death. Everyone has faith in “something,” so take knowing God seriously. The joy and peace that awaits a child of God is indescribable, and if you are even thinking about the answer to what is true, you should start to pray to God to reveal to your faith[pray that God will show us Him]. He works in those seeking to see clearly.
IN CONCLUSION: The benefits of looking to faculty and peers for spiritual wisdom are great. It should have given each and every one of you a chance to learn more and some encouragement to talk about your faith more with others. God tells us in the Bible that is is very important to learn from people and meditate on the Word. This is shown in Proverbs 12:15, “The way of a fool is right in his own eyes, But a wise man is he who listens to counsel."
Thoughts on Christian Life from Different Generations
Caroline Glass, Staff Writer