Grade 7 Bible students, please read everything in this post very carefully. There is some teaching and there are lots of instructions. I will be watching to see that you follow the instructions very carefully. Today, I’d like to try something new. If you have a question or something you’re unsure of on the blog, I encourage you to use your MCA email account to chat about your question with a friend in class. See if you can work together to generate ideas, answer questions, and be creative. This is not a free pass to let someone else do all the work for you, and you should still be posting your own original ideas. Rather, this is a chance to collaborate and learn together. When I get back, I’ll be asking if you took me up on the offer and how it worked. P.S. You will have today and tomorrow in class (tomorrow after you’ve saved your Celebrity Character Project to the class folder) to complete the assignments listed below.
The first thing I want you to do is to start a new blog post and entitle it “Pride Before Destruction.”
You might have heard the saying, “Pride comes before a fall.” Well, that comes from the Bible! Here are the real words of Proverbs 16:18: “Pride comes before destruction and an arrogant spirit before a fall.” Step two: in 3-5 sentences on your post, explain what you think Proverbs 16:18 means; include an example of what “pride before destruction” could look like in real life.
Next I want you to think about why pride is such a serious character issue that affects so many people. Here’s an excerpt from a book by C.S. Lewis called The Screwtape Letters. The book is a collection of fictional letters from a demon, Screwtape, to his nephew, Wormwood. Screwtape is giving Wormwood instructions on how to mess with a human (called “your patient” in this section) who has become a Christian. The Bible says (this is real!) that once a person is a Christian, Satan can’t “have him back,” but we certainly know that Satan can tempt him (or us!). So, in this book, Screwtape is teaching his nephew how to tempt the man. The purpose of the book is to help Christians be aware of the ways that the devil tempts us. This is what Screwtape tells Wormwood about how to tempt the man with pride:
I see only one thing to do at the moment. Your patient has become humble; have you drawn his attention to the fact? All virtues are less formidable to us once the man is aware that he has them, but this is specially true of humility. Catch him at the moment when he is really poor in spirit and smuggle into his mind the gratifying reflection, “By jove! I’m being humble”, and almost immediately pride—pride at his own humility—will appear. If he awakes to the danger and tries to smother this new form of pride, make him proud of his attempt—and so on, through as many stages as you please. But don’t try this too long, for fear you awake his sense of humour and proportion, in which case he will merely laugh at you and go to bed. ~C.S. Lewis, The Screwtape Letters, ch. 14
So, based on what Lewis says in this passage and on what you know of humility and pride, answer the following question in 2-4 sentences on your blog. Why is pride something that everyone struggles with, and what can we do to live with humility instead of pride? Make this really practical if you can!
One more question (also a 2-4 sentence answer): Since everyone deals with pride, what is one area of your life where you are prone to be prideful? Hard question to answer? Am I asking you to be too vulnerable? Okay, I’ll go first. I can be proud about my singing. I know I’m a pretty good singer because people are always saying nice things to me about my voice, so it’s easy to be proud of that. And you know what? It’s okay to have pride in something I’m (or you’re) good at. However, it’s when I start thinking that I’m awesome or that I’m better than others that it’s an issue. Or when I think that my singing is because of me and not because of what God gave me. Or when I want people to pay attention to my voice instead of thinking about God when I’m leading worship. That’s what pride does–it takes the attention away from God and puts it on me. So, now it’s your turn. What is something you’re prideful about, and what could you do to transform your pride to humility? (Remember, answer in 2-3 sentences).
The cool thing is that as much as the Bible talks about pride being a really bad thing, the Bible also talks about how humility is a really great thing! Here are some thoughts on humility from Proverbs:
“Before his downfall a man’s heart is proud, but humility comes before honor.” Proverbs 18:12
“The result of humility is fear of the LORD, along with wealth, honor, and life.” Proverbs 22:4
It’s exciting to know that God rewards humility just as he punishes pride, don’t you think?
Okay, now to the fun (and last) part. I love to get you thinking creatively, so you know there’s going to be some creative writing in here. Write a story that shows either the consequences of pride or the rewards of humility in someone’s life (or your story could show both!). Your story must be original (i.e. NOT a parable from the Bible or a story from Chinese folklore–I will find out if it is!). Write 3+ paragraphs (no limit on length) and post it on the same post where you’ve written the answers to the questions above. Your story can be based on true facts, or it can be totally made up. I’m ready to be “wowed” by your creativity.
When you are finished, here are some things you can do:
- Free-write on your blog
- Read and comment on someone else’s blog posts (particularly today’s if anyone else is already finished)
- Check out the “Class Resources” page and look at some of the interesting links, for instance “Answers to Skeptics’ Questions” or “Youth Reads”
- Play Bible trivia games (scroll down the page–you do NOT need a login to play)
Some things you may NOT do:
- surf the web
- distract your neighbor
- watch videos on YouTube
- do work for other classes (unless you’ve been given permission by the teacher)
- anything else you know I, Ms. Hatcher, would not allow!