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A Biblical Model:



or Mastery?

Learning How to Relate


Living on the Earth


Diane Rodd

When contemplating the need in an educational environment to manage the behavior of fellow human beings (parent, child, teacher, administrators), those involved in Christian education must vigilantly keep their eyes on God, the Everlasting Father/Creator, on Jesus Christ, the Son/Prince of Peace, and on the Holy Spirit, the Wonderful Counselor/Comforter. The Biblical model of behavioral mastery keeps God and His view of human behavior always in focus: the internal change comes before the external change. As Jesus indicated, being full of hypocrisy and lawlessness is a curse rather than a blessing (Mat 23 :28).

Human Behavior and Management

in Education

Families Honoring Christ

"But the goal of our instruction is love from a pure heart
and a good conscience and a sincere faith."

Earl & Diane Rodd
6044 Pine Creek St. N.W. North Canton, OH 44720

Phone: (330) 305-9318

1st edition - May 2005

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FHC is an Ohio based ministry providing information, encouragement
and fellowship to Christian families, natural and spiritual.

Unless otherwise noted, All Scripture quotations are from the

New American Standard Bible, Copyright 1988,

The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.

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Human Behavior and Management

in Education

When time and the material world and animals came into existence, the Creator did so through His spoken word: "Then God said..." (Gen 1 :3,6,9,11,14,20,24,26,29; 2 :18). During the six days of God's creative power flowing through His voice, everything that the five senses of a human being can presently observe on this earth, originally sprang into being with words. The support systems of the earth (water and oxygen), light (energy), soil (minerals), seeds (vegetation), time (sun and moon), creatures (of water, land, and air) - all came into being by the predetermined design and spoken words of God: "By faith we understand that the worlds were prepared by the word of God, so that what is seen was not made out of things which are visible" (Hebrews 11 :3).

Even though God's plan and design of creation is unfathomable (Rom 11 :33-36) and continually unfolding in the 21st century, the beauty of the natural plant and animal kingdom does not reflect the perfection of the original design (Rom 8 :20-22). However, God's perfect design of a human being made in His image according to His likeness, male and female, was revealed 2000 years ago in the humanity of Jesus Christ, the last Adam (1Cor 15 :45). Therefore the focus of a discussion on the management of human behavior must center on Jesus Christ who is the perfect standard of human behavior: "He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him" (2Cor 5 :21).

Jesus made an extremely definitive statement about human behavior and the futility of focusing on the external. Matthew records the full extent of His words, "Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you clean the outside of the cup and of the dish, but inside they are full of robbery and self-indulgence (Matthew 23 :25). A cup and a dish are containers used to hold something that can be eaten or drunk. According to Jesus what the container holds within is that which then brings contamination to the whole vessel: "You blind Pharisee, first clean the inside of the cup and of the dish, so that the outside of it may become clean also" (Matthew 23 :26). Any person who has ever washed a dirty dish or cup knows the dirtiest part of the vessel is what has to be cleaned first, but Jesus doesn't stop with the Jewish culture concerning cleanliness. He carries the description to the decaying process of death: "Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs which on the outside appear beautiful, but inside they are full of dead men's bones and all uncleanness (Matthew 23 :27). The completion of Jesus' metaphorical comparison of the human personality to vessels used in drinking and eating and to a container that holds a dead person's body continues in the negative strength of a stern rebuke. The teaching culminates in a direct exposure of human behavior that blocks the God-given design for humanity. Jesus directly states: "Even so you too outwardly appear righteous to men, but inwardly you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness (Matthew 23 :28).

The key word in this discourse (Mat 23 :26-28) in the Greek is akrassia (192) translated into English as self-indulgence which means "lack of power." Paul uses the same word to describe the behavior of a person who has no self-control but simultaneously denies the need of power to demonstrate godly behavior. This Greek word written in a descriptive list to Timothy is a concise description of negative behavior that Christian educators often encounter and need to manage:

But realize this, that in the last days difficult times will come. For men will be lovers of self, lovers of money, boastful, arrogant, revilers, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy, unloving, irreconcilable, malicious gossips, without self-control, brutal, haters of good, treacherous, reckless, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God; holding to a form of godliness, although they have denied its power; and avoid such men as these (2 Timothy 3 :1-5).

This passage isolates the internal desires of humanity that cause difficult times, the need for behavior management, as well as provides the solution to the problem: the love of God must replace love of self, love of money, and love of pleasure. The internal focus on self-love rather than a passionate love for God produces internal thought processes that often erupt in observable outward behavior that many educators find unacceptable. The inability to love God internally causes an inability to love others outwardly as well as to love self correctly as Christ teaches. Choices made from an ungodly inner focus will push the person not only to unacceptable behavior towards others, but some within the educational establishment are also pushed into behavior that is self-destructive. These kinds of behaviors that Paul describes are not new to educational organizations, but looking to a paradigm shift that occurred 2000 years ago as the solution may be a new paradigm shift for educators, Christian and non-Christian, pressing into the 21st century.

When contemplating the need in an educational environment to manage the behavior of fellow human beings (parent, child, teacher, administrators), those involved in Christian education must vigilantly keep their eyes on God, the Everlasting Father/Creator, on Jesus Christ, the Son/Prince of Peace, and on the Holy Spirit, the Wonderful Counselor/Comforter. The Biblical model of behavioral mastery keeps God and His view of human behavior always in focus: the internal change comes before the external change. As Jesus indicated, being full of hypocrisy and lawlessness is a curse rather than a blessing (Mat 23 :28).

Jesus teaches that hypocrisy, lawlessness and robbery are internal blockages that may be hidden by outward ritualistic acceptable behavior. Educational systems relish in the appearance of good group behavior often at the expense of true internal change for each individual in the group. The approval of another person achieved by external performance may produce actors who appear pliable, submissive, and cooperative, and who do so to receive the praise of other human beings. The Greek word for hypocrisy is hupokrisis which means "playacting." Christian educational institutions are much more susceptible to this kind of subtle manipulative management of religious behavior than a non-Christian institution. Perhaps the most extreme example of external compliance for the good of the institution at the expense of the individual is the present increase in mood control drugs (Ritalin, Concerta) given to increase scholastic performance as well as to control behavior.

Jesus links the internal motivation of seeking honor, approval and praise from fellow human beings to two major internal root problems: (1) a lack of love for God (2) an inability to receive, accept, and believe Jesus. He sets the perfect standard on this issue:

I do not receive glory from men; but I know you, that you do not have the love of God in yourselves. I have come in My Father's name, and you do not receive Me; if another shall come in his own name, you will receive him. How can you believe, when you receive glory from one another, and you do not seek the glory that is from the {one and} only God? (John 5 :41-44).

According to the One whose external behavior and internal motivation was impeccable, the inability to believe in God and love Him foremost is directly linked to a single internal wrong motivation: a willing acceptance of the glory, honor, and praise of men. This wrong motivation blocks the ability to believe God and to love Him. These words of Jesus bring a strong indictment to all of western culture educational endeavors that loves and seeks honor and fame from men. Thus it is extremely important for Christian educators to rectify this wrong emphasis that emulates the world rather than Christ. John rephrased Jesus' teaching in very clear terms:

Do not love the world, nor the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the boastful pride of life, is not from the Father, but is from the world. And the world is passing away, and also its lusts; but the one who does the will of God abides forever (1 John 2 :15-17).

An overemphasis on unacceptable outward behavior and the acceptance of manipulative techniques to create false impressions are both distractions that quench the peace and joy that accompanies righteousness when the Kingdom of God is supplanted by the rules, regulations, and traditions of Christendom. When obedience to man-made traditions are expected and enforced at the expense of adherence to the words of Jesus, a Christian educational establishment is not building on the unshakable foundation. Jesus teaches:

Rightly did Isaiah prophesy of you hypocrites, as it is written, 'This people honors Me with their lips, but their heart is far away from Me. 'But in vain do they worship Me, teaching as doctrines the precepts of men.' Neglecting the commandment of God, you hold to the tradition of men. He was also saying to them, 'You nicely set aside the commandment of God in order to keep your tradition' (Mark 7 :6-9).

Because human beings are made in the image and likeness of God, internal mastery rather than a masked manipulation of external management better describes the process of submissive cooperation with Father that is evidenced in the Biblical model of relational learning. "Shall we not much rather be subject to the Father of spirits, and live?...He disciplines us for our good, that we may share His holiness" (Heb 12 :9-10). Cooperation with the One who designed the human personality is the key to eliciting behavior in the human being that fulfills God's purposes rather than using fellow human beings to achieve man-made agendas, goals or desires. Whether Jesus' return to earth is imminent or delays for centuries, God's goal for every human being remains the same: all are to be conformed to the image of His Son, Jesus Christ (Rom 8 :29, see Appendix A: My Plan AB).

This conformity to Christ's image includes the triune nature of a human being of which the body is only one part:

Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you entirely; and may your spirit and soul and body be preserved complete, without blame at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. Faithful is He who calls you, and He also will bring it to pass (1Th 5 :23-24).

The faithful essence of Father God's character and His participation in this process should not be ignored by Christian educators even though non-Christians do so at their own peril. The writer of Hebrews states the eternal superiority that earthly mentors need to recognize, receive, sanction, and uphold:

Furthermore, we had earthly fathers to discipline us, and we respected them; shall we not much rather be subject to the Father of spirits, and live? For they disciplined us for a short time as seemed best to them, but He {disciplines us} for {our} good, that we may share His holiness (Heb 12 :9-10).

Educators, Christian and non-Christian, who only focus on outward behavior by punishing bad behavior and rewarding acceptable behavior, may not fully understand the deception of judging by outward appearances that falsely trains the human soul. Jesus teaches: "Do not judge according to appearance, but judge with righteous judgment" (John 7 :24). The English word "appearance" in Jesus' statement is the Greek word opsis (3799) meaning: "to judge by sight." Jesus does not want any behavior, good or bad, to be judged by the senses, observations made only through the physical eyes or ears of a human being. When the human soul (mind, will, emotions) interpret behavior only by the input of the eye and the ear, serious misjudgments are made. An example of righteous judgment is recorded in Mark:

They came, bringing to Him (Jesus) a paralytic, carried by four men. And being unable to get to Him because of the crowd, they removed the roof above Him; and when they had dug an opening, they let down the pallet on which the paralytic was lying. And Jesus seeing their faith *said to the paralytic, "My son, your sins are forgiven." But there were some of the scribes sitting there and reasoning in their hearts, "Why does this man speak that way? He is blaspheming; who can forgive sins but God alone?" And immediately Jesus, aware in His spirit that they were reasoning that way within themselves, said to them, "Why are you reasoning about these things in your hearts? (Mark 2 :3-8).

In this passage Jesus "saw" two unobservable things: (1) the faith of the paralytic's friends; (2) the internal reasoning of the scribes who sat and observed this theatrical entrance, the dramatic miracle, the instantaneous healing of a man's body and the cleansing of the man's soul. According to Matthew and Luke's inspiration, the human reasoning that is not aligned with God's reasoning is evil: "Jesus knowing their thoughts said, 'Why are you thinking evil in your hearts'" (Luke 5 :22; Matt 9 :4). True Christian educators must be continually reminded that it is the internal hidden unseen realm of the human personality that must be cultivated by faith working through love in a continual abiding relationship with Jesus (Gal 5 :6; John 15 :1-17). Jesus expects those who love and follow Him to discern faith and love operating in others. Judging by outward appearances is not only detrimental in Christian educational establishments, but it carries a deception that is deadly for all who are entwined in it.

Paul uses a different Greek word prosperon (4383) when discussing "pride in outward appearances," and Paul's assessment matches the words and behavior of Jesus. Paul states: "Have an answer for those who take pride (glory, honor) in appearance, and not in heart" (2Cor 5 :12) The English word translated as "pride" is kauchaomai (2744) in the Greek which is also translated as boast and exult.

The revelation of Jesus of the internal connection and the deceptive disconnect between an individual's internal focus and outward behavior links to a love of money rather than a love of God:

The lamp of the body is the eye; if therefore your eye is clear, your whole body will be full of light. But if your eye is bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in you is darkness, how great is the darkness! No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will hold to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon (Mat 6 :22-24).

When Luke comments on this same teaching of Jesus, he adds further insight from the Holy Spirit: "If therefore your whole body is full of light, with no dark part in it, it shall be wholly illumined, as when the lamp illumines you with its rays " (Luke 11 :36). Paul's exhaustive list to Timothy waters Jesus' seed principle concerning the connection between the internal condition of the heart and the mastery of human behavior: lovers of money, self and pleasure crowd out the love of God (2Tim 3 :1-9) which He has placed in the human heart (Rom 5 :5).

Jesus expects the internal realm of the human personality to be free from darkness. Just to examine the deeds of darkness and to punish the body for those deeds never cuts off the evil fruit at its roots. However, assisting another in any circumstance, including those in educational settings, to love God in a greater measure is the first priority whenever a change in behavior is desired. Focusing the eye on Jesus rather than on self is the way to deny self and stop the incorrect love of self:

Then Jesus said to His disciples, "If anyone wishes to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me. "For whoever wishes to save his life shall lose it; but whoever loses his life for My sake shall find it (Matthew 16 :24-25).

The following passage links the right focus as the way to encourage another to persevere:

Fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. For consider Him who has endured such hostility by sinners against Himself, so that you may not grow weary and lose heart (Heb 12 :2-3).

This focus to understand Jesus' behavior in His human body can greatly assist a Christian educator who is in the position of responsibility over the bodies and souls of fellow human beings. The political system of Rome dominated every area of the lives of its citizens even to the dehumanizing use of fear and slavery. The religious system of Hebrew culture at the time of Jesus exercised deceptive manipulation and hypocritical control over its adherents (John 12 :42-43). Even though secular humanism has its tentacles in every area of education, Christian educators must be cognizant that we have been chosen by God to be in the world, but we are not of its nature. Jesus' prayer reveals the joy and the glory that is inherit when the kingdom of God is revealed through us:

But now I come to Thee; and these things I speak in the world, that they may have My joy made full in themselves. I have given them Thy word; and the world has hated them, because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. I do not ask Thee to take them out of the world, but to keep them from the evil {one.} They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. Sanctify them in the truth; Thy word is truth. As Thou didst send Me into the world, I also have sent them into the world. And for their sakes I sanctify Myself, that they themselves also may be sanctified in truth. I do not ask in behalf of these alone, but for those also who believe in Me through their word; that they may all be one; even as Thou, Father, {art} in Me, and I in Thee, that they also may be in Us; that the world may believe that Thou didst send Me. And the glory which Thou hast given Me I have given to them; that they may be one, just as We are one; (John 17 :13-22).

Thus Jesus told His followers to have attitudes and behavior that was the opposite of what they had observed and experienced in the political-religious construct surrounding them. Three gospel writers record this teaching, but it is Matthew who explains that the exercise of authority of those in God's kingdom is that of a willing slave, not forceful coercion:

But Jesus called them to Himself, and said, 'You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and {their} great men exercise authority over them. It is not so among you, but whoever wishes to become great among you shall be your servant, and whoever wishes to be first among you shall be your slave; just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many' (Mat 20 :25-28).

Mark emphasizes that God's kingdom requires a servant mentality towards all not just those included in a special group: "But it is not so among you, but whoever wishes to become great among you shall be your servant; and whoever wishes to be first among you shall be slave of all" (Mark 10 :43-44). Luke reveals that Jesus redefines greatness so that the youngest member of a group is to be seen as one to serve not one to be used or abused by anyone in a position of authority:

He said to them, 'The kings of the Gentiles lord it over them; and those who have authority over them are called '"Benefactors.'" But not so with you, but let him who is the greatest among you become as the youngest, and the leader as the servant. For who is greater, the one who reclines {at the table,} or the one who serves? Is it not the one who reclines {at the table}? But I am among you as the one who serves' (Luke 22 :25-27).

Jesus' teaching concerning those in authority was designed to bring freedom to those who were bound to a religious system of control. Thus Christian educators need to carefully study Jesus' behavior as well as His words to learn how to judge behavioral situations with righteous judgment.

The love of money, prestige and power rather than a love of God caused a strange misrepresentation of God and His kingdom at the daily sacrifices in Herod's Temple. All four gospel writers report Jesus' behavior when God's design for the human body had to be reintroduced into the religio-political behavioral systems of the Jewish nation dominated by Roman rule. John describes the graphic picture of Jesus' behavior and is the only gospel writer who gives insight into God's ultimate eternal purpose for the human body:

He (Jesus) found in the temple those who were selling oxen and sheep and doves, and the moneychangers seated. And He made a scourge of cords, and drove {them} all out of the temple, with the sheep and the oxen; and He poured out the coins of the moneychangers, and overturned their tables; and to those who were selling the doves He said, 'Take these things away; stop making My Father's house a house of merchandise.' His disciples remembered that it was written, 'Zeal for Thy house will consume me.' The Jews therefore answered and said to Him, 'What sign do You show to us, seeing that You do these things?' Jesus answered and said to them, 'Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.' The Jews therefore said, 'It took forty-six years to build this temple, and will You raise it up in three days?' But He was speaking of the temple of His body (John 2 :14-21).

The human body is eternal, indestructible, and Jesus would prove so by raising His own body from the dead. The superiority of God's design of the human body over the magnificent structure of Herod's Temple, Zerrubabel's Temple and Solomon's Temple was preached also by Stephen as he became the first martyr after the day of Pentecost. Stephen understood something that David, a man after God's own heart, was not able to see: "The Most High does not dwell in houses made by human hands" (Acts 7 :48). John does not cite the purpose of the human body on earth, but each of the other three gospel writers reveal God's earthly goal: the human body is to be a place of prayer (communion with the Creator), not a thing to be used for religious or political purposes. Jesus' intensity and extreme behavior was not His concern over the misuse of Herod's Temple. Jesus' intense concern was the use and misuse of the people through political and religious laws, regulations and demands that kept them locked in a system that prevented true fellowship and communion with their Designer and Father. Mark records Jesus' quote from Isaiah to clarify God's ultimate purpose concerning His chosen place of prayer: "My house shall be called a house of prayer for all the nations. But you have made it a robbers' den (Mark 11 :17).

Jesus behavior with His own human body inside Herod's Temple complex demonstrates God's intense desire for all of humanity to understand His original and final purpose for the human body: a place where God Himself designed and intensely desires to dwell in His fullness: "If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our abode with him" (John 14 :23). Paul states that we are: "To know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge, that you (we) may be filled up to all the fullness of God" (Eph 1 :19). It's not only that educators need to see the earthly and eternal purpose of the human body, but it is also that educators who have the most influence over the bodies of the population of a nation, need to recognize that they have possession of those bodies by civil law from K-12. Luke records Jesus' words of woe directed to those who had the responsibility of imparting knowledge in his generation, he quotes: "Woe to you lawyers! For you have taken away the key of knowledge; you did not enter in yourselves, and those who were entering in you hindered" (Luke 11 :52).

The secular educational system in the United States has had a monopoly concerning the rules and regulations concerning knowledge ever since the Puritans passed The Old Deluder Satan Act in 1647. Compulsory attendance laws in every one of the fifty states have forced parents to place their children into the hands of strangers for over one hundred years. Private Christian schools and Christian homeschooling parents have attempted to find the key of knowledge to unlock the prisoners of secular academia, but they themselves have much difficulty in establishing the internal as more important than the external. Homeschoolers who have the most freedom from restrictions are often caught in demonic pressures and prisons from their own compulsory school years or college training.

According to Paul some parts of the body are eternal and some parts are not, but the human body belongs to the Lord, and He has a general and a specific purpose for each human body: "Food is for the stomach, and the stomach is for food; but God will do away with both of them. Yet the body is not for immorality, but for the Lord; and the Lord is for the body" (1Cor 6 :13). He later states directly that the ownership of the human body and it's design is a home (temple) for the Holy Spirit: "Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own?" (1Cor 6 :13).

Jesus Himself said the human body is a place where the triune God desires to dwell: "If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word, and My Father will love him, and We will come to him, and make Our abode with Him" (John 14 :23).

Not only does the human body not belong to the individual but more importantly, a human body does not belong to the government or to any educational institution a human government may sanction. Ignoring God's ownership of the human body enables individuals and systems to mistreat, abuse, and misuse the human body for selfish and corporate agendas that bear no resemblance to God's design and His purpose. Paul compares a Christian's lack of self control over his own body and every other area of life to the disqualification of a person in an earthly athletic contest: "Everyone who competes in the games exercises self-control in all things. They then {do it} to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable" (1Cor 9 :25). The analogy to the secular competition in track and boxing may cause some to think that Paul advocates a severe unnatural treatment of the body: "Therefore I run in such a way, as not without aim; I box in such a way, as not beating the air; but I buffet my body and make it my slave, lest possibly, after I have preached to others, I myself should be disqualified" (1Cor 9 :26-27). However, Paul also wrote the following to correct those who do not understand that the external cannot change unless there is an internal change:

If you have died with Christ to the elementary principles of the world, why, as if you were living in the world, do you submit yourself to decrees, such as,"Do not handle, do not taste, do not touch!" (which all {refer to} things destined to perish with the using)-- in accordance with the commandments and teachings of men? These are matters which have, to be sure, the appearance of wisdom in self-made religion and self-abasement and severe treatment of the body, {but are} of no value against fleshly indulgence" (Col 2 :20-23).

For a person in an educational setting to have a desire to master his own body, the positive, not the negative, must have first priority. The love that an individual should have towards his own body needs to be the same as God's love and desire for that human body. The reason for the existence of that body and God's design for that body also needs to remain in continual focus:

But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the surpassing greatness of the power may be of God and not from ourselves;... always carrying about in the body the dying of Jesus, that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our body (2Cor 4 :7,10).

According to Jesus the giving up of ownership and personal control over one's body (dying to self) is the ultimate expression of devotion to God: "You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength" (Mark 12 :30). Paul reiterates the ownership of the human body in two different places in a letter to the Corinthian church:

"Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own? For you have been bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body....You were bought with a price; do not become slaves of men (1cor 6 :19; 7 :23).

The exemplary life and death of Jesus reveal the extreme lengths that a person should go to give the Father absolute control over his or her body. He is the pattern for all human behavior:

Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance, and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. For consider Him who has endured such hostility by sinners against Himself, so that you may not grow weary and lose heart. You have not yet resisted to the point of shedding blood in your striving against sin; (Heb 12 :1-4).

Paul, who is now securely within that great cloud of witnesses, also viewed the human body as a place on earth where God, not humanity or the demonic, is to have total control: "According to my earnest expectation and hope, that I shall not be put to shame in anything, but {that} with all boldness, Christ shall even now, as always, be exalted in my body, whether by life or by death" Phi 1 :20).

For some Christian educators Christ's extreme devotion may be excused as having God as His Father. Others may say that Paul himself was also an exception that we of the 21st century are not expected to emulate. However, the early believers are known for such extreme devotion, and we should set the same kind of example:

You also became imitators of us and of the Lord, having received the word in much tribulation with the joy of the Holy Spirit, so that you became an example to all the believers in Macedonia and in Achaia (1 Thessalonians 1 :6-7).

Therefore any educational activity that detracts from the exaltation of Christ, is not profitable: "All things are lawful, but not all things are profitable. All things are lawful, but not all things edify. Let no one seek his own good, but that of his neighbor" (1 Corinthians 10 :23-24).

The mastery of behavior that is prevalent in the Biblical relational model of learning is a blend of freedom and self-control. Freedom without responsible behavior is licentiousness not true Christian liberty. Paul sets a goal that should be found in all Christian institutions: "All things are lawful for me, but not all things are profitable. All things are lawful for me, but I will not be mastered by anything" (1Cor 6 :12).

No discussion about the personal self-mastery of behavior in education would be complete without the revelation found in the epistle of James. The context of James' insight into the connection of the human body and words is given specifically to teachers:

Let not many {of you} become teachers, my brethren, knowing that as such we shall incur a stricter judgment. For we all stumble in many {ways.} If anyone does not stumble in what he says, he is a perfect man, able to bridle the whole body as well (Jam 3 :1-2).

The connection of being made in the likeness of God in the use of words brings us full circle in the discussion of behavior management in educational establishments. James says: "With it (human tongue) we bless our Lord and Father; and with it we curse men, who have been made in the likeness of God" (Jam 3 :9). Controlling the tongue starts with control of the internal condition of the heart. When the heart and tongue are aligned with God, then the body is under control of the Holy Spirit. According to James good behavior produces deeds performed in the gentleness of wisdom and understanding (Jam 3 :13; Isa 11 :2).

Educational establishments which promote competition, rewards, punishments, comparisons, performance tests, and other similar man-made standards, may be inducing behavior and decisions that are the exact opposite of the Kingdom of God: "For we are not bold to class or compare ourselves with some of those who commend themselves; but when they measure themselves by themselves, and compare themselves with themselves, they are without understanding " (2Cor 10 :12).

These organizational structures may actually foster heart attitudes that erupt in disorderly behavior:

But if you have bitter jealousy and selfish ambition in your heart, do not be arrogant and {so} lie against the truth. This wisdom is not that which comes down from above, but is earthly, natural, demonic. For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there is disorder and every evil thing (Jam 3 :14-15).

An educational institution that bears the name Christian must seriously eliminate anything in the organization that dictates, requires or executes anything to foster the growth of selfish ambition, jealousy, or hypocrisy in the hearts of those who are involved. The competitive nature of western culture makes this proposal for behavioral mastery seem like an impossible dream, but "With God all things are possible" (Mat 19 :26).

A little child recently transferred to a different public school and when asked how she liked her new school, she quickly responded, "I love my new school because it doesn't have so many rules. I only have two rules: 'Be respectful and be responsible.'" Secular educational institutions have a strong desire to impart character and to maintain peaceful relationships within their communities, but they attempt to do so by denying the power of the cross of Christ that is necessary for true peace and true honor and true respect to reign (see Appendix B). To ask for the impossible without giving a student the opportunity to know that he or she was designed to love as Christ loves Father God and to love others as Christ loves him or her is a travesty that Christian schools need to avoid (2Tim 3 :5). External behavioral mastery begins in the heart, and Jesus' strategically teaches what is the first priority: "'You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength'" (Mar 12 :30). Jesus never changed the Father's commandment given to Israel over 3000 years ago. This eternal command deals with behavioral mastery and His example of obedience to that command is available for all to see. The New Covenant command, a paradigm shift for Israel and all other nations, occurred over 2000 years ago and cannot be ignored by those who claim to be Christian educators:

A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another (John 13 :34-35).

When these two eternal commands are embraced as the top priority in educational institutions and educational structures are modified to give the Holy Spirit a place where He can enable anyone and everyone to do the impossible, then educational prisons can be turned into the paradise of relational learning that Jesus proposed:

'Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you, and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart; and you shall find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy, and My load is light' (Matthew 11 :28-30).

When the eternal absolute standard is truly internal, then behavior change pleases God's heart, and the Lord's prayer: "Let Your kingdom come on earth as it is in heaven!" is a present reality, even in educational establishments. "The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord, and of His Christ; and He will reign forever and ever" (Rev 11 :15).

The Love Cross incorporates the teachings of Christ and Paul into a prophetic declaration and symbol that Christian educators of any culture can use as the absolute eternal standard of behavioral mastery (see Appendix C).

Apendix A: My Plan AB
Even though secular humanists may not accept or understand the gift of prophecy, Christian educators cripple themselves when this gift of the Holy Spirit is not applied to circumstances that arise in their sphere of influence. The spirit of wisdom and revelation have been given to humanity to reveal God's perspective in any situation. Even though the gift of prophecy is considered to be subjective, anecdotal evidence, the Biblical validity of the necessity of prophecy is clearly stated: (1) it is not to be despised (1 Thes 5 :20; (2) it is a sign to believers (1 Cor 14 :22) and an exposure to unbelievers (1 Cor 14 :24); (3) it is to be judged (1 Cor 14 :29). The following word has been submitted and accepted in a church context, in family counseling, and is now submitted to you as valid in an educational environment.

"Diane, you have listened well. Now record what I say.

From My point of view and revealed in My word, everyone has the same calling: I desire all to be conformed to the image of Christ. This is an absolute non-negotiable call for all. This is Plan A.

There are very few that walk this call on a very straight narrow path. Those who know how to deny themselves, crucify the flesh, lose their own life - understand, embrace, and enjoy this call, and they never lose sight of it. Others wander off this path by making choices that seem like Plan A but are not. Plan A has only one will - MINE. Look at My Son to see it perfectly. Plan B is not evil and need not be divisive. What I call Plan B, and you call Plan B are not the same.

Plan B is the process, life's circumstances, good choices and bad choices, satan's temptations, human victories and human failures, demonic activity, human wills and all else that I use to work out to good for those who love Me and are called according to My purposes.

Married or single is not Plan A. Children or no children is not Plan A. Public ministry or hidden ministry is not Plan A. Plan A is non-negotiable, and it is always the goal - many sons conformed to the image of My Son.

I do not control, I conform. I do not terrify, I transform. I do not force, I fondle. I do not negate, I nurture. I do not criticize, I correct. I do not dominate, I dawdle. I do not push, I empower. I do not negate, I nurture. I do not fear, I love. I do not despair, I believe.

You need to clarify Plan A and Plan B, for Plan A must always be your first choice. I will not change on Plan A, and you must always embrace Plan A. However, man's selfish choices will become Plan B, and you are to have no fear or concern about Plan B. What looks opposite to My promises and My Spirit will be worked together for good to those who love Me and are called according to My purposes. Parents who are afraid to allow their children to make wrong choices do not understand Who I Am. The Garden of Eden and one wrong choice did not cause Me worry, anxiety, or frustration. Abraham's wrong choices didn't concern Me either. Esau's wrong choices reflect what I hate, but his misunderstanding didn't disturb Me. King David's wrong choices bothered him more than they bothered Me. Peter's choices were opportunities for Jesus to clarify Plan A. Man's interests will always clash with Mine, but there are many Plan B's that are My will and many that are not. I can rework Plan B's anytime, anywhere, with anyone when the heart is 100% sold out to Plan A. I alone know the state of every human heart, so stay peaceful, loving, full of joy, and hope for nothing is impossible with Me.

Plan B is the process, the journey, kick back, relax, and enjoy the journey. Plan A is the end of the journey. Plan B is the testimony.

If you are afraid to allow someone the freedom to make wrong choices, then you also deny them the freedom to make right choices. I do not control; I am in control. What is a contradiction from your perspective is a process of growth and maturity from My perspective. What looks good to you may not be pleasing to Me at all, for I am pleased by faith not performance. Approval of man, the fear of man, is a great snare. Many are shipwrecked and wounded because the American culture is so contrary to the ways of My kingdom.

I see your joy and your love and your commitment to Me, My ways and My kingdom. Remain there, and I will continue to bring contradictions that conform you to the image of My Son. The contradictions cause the pressure that squeezes you into a corner that has no escape except to die to your plans and your purposes. Even when your plans and your purposes match My word, you are not God, and you are not in control. My ways are always higher, My thoughts are always higher than your earthly view. So in the contradictions, in the time of waiting, I call you higher to be conformed, to be transformed.

Thus I work Plan B - your choices, right and wrong to fulfill My Plan A. All things, good, bad, and neutral, work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to My purpose.

I foreknow, I predestine to conformity to the image of Christ, My Son, that He might be the first-born of many brothers. I call, I predestine, I justify, I glorify. Nothing and no one can separate from the love of Christ. I do not fear man's wrong choices, for I am the Lord, the One who restores all things (5.4.2002).

Appendix B: Character Education

The following was taken from the bulletin board of the school office where this child attends elementary school. I was told by the principal that even though it was written in 1993, it was still valid and operative in 2003. The secretary didn't have time to dismantle the only copy from the bulletin board to make me a copy, so I had to copy it in my own handwriting. Mistakes in punctuation/grammar were left uncorrected.

Please note that this was written before the acts of terrorism on 9/11/2001 clearly demonstrated the acceptance in some cultures to devalue human life in order to achieve their own agendas.

Also note this piece was written before the Supreme Court ruled that Judge Moore et al could not display the Ten Commandments in the Alabama halls of justice (2003). In 1993 the State of Ohio instituted "Ohio's Ten Commandments" for Ohio Schools which demonstrates the human need for rules and the human rejection of God's perfect standard. The generalizations and lack of definitions make Ohio's rules nebulous and very susceptible to misunderstanding and miscommunication:

"America is a nation of people with many different cultures and beliefs. Our strength and our ability to live together in harmony, results from our continuing agreement on a set of common moral and ethical character traits that all these diverse cultures and belief systems share. The State Board of Education of Ohio has officially named ten common character traits which are essential to building good citizenship in our schools and communities. The Canton Local School Board provides many learning materials and school programs which can help students to understand and develop these sound character traits.

  1. Compassion - Care about others' feelings no matter how different in race, religion, gender, age, wealth or physical and mental conditions they are from you.
  2. Courtesy - Show good manners and be polite at all times.
  3. Tolerance - Learn about and respect other cultures and beliefs.
  4. Honesty - Be truthful and trustworthy.
  5. Self-Discipline - Set high goals for your future and make day-to-day choices that will help you reach them.
  6. Diligence - Work hard and carefully to complete jobs you start - correctly and on time.
  7. Responsibility - Choose actions that will make your school, home, community, nation, and world strong.
  8. Self-respect - Realize that you are a unique, important person. Build on your strengths work to overcome your weaknesses.
  9. Courage - Develop sources of inner strength to help you in difficult times.
  10. Integrity - Live up to the high ideals and values you believe in"
    Appendix C: The Love Cross

    Father, I love You
    With all my heart,
    With all my soul,
    With all my mind,
    With all my strength.
    I love my neighbor
    As Christ loves me.
    God is Love, and God the Holy Spirit lives in me.
    Therefore, I am patient; I am kind; I am not jealous;
    I do not brag; I am not arrogant; I do not act unbecomingly;
    I do not seek my own; I am not easily provoked; I do not
    take into account a wrong suffered; I do not rejoice in
    unrighteousness.I re-
    joice with the truth;
    I bear all things;
    I believe all things;
    I hope all things;
    I endure all things;
    Father, I love You
    With all my heart,
    With all my soul,
    With all my mind,
    With all my strength.
    I love my neighbor
    As Christ loves me.
    The fruit of
    the Spirit is
    love, joy, peace,
    patience, kindness,
    gentleness, and
    self-control. Against
    such things there is
    no law.

    Copyright by Earl & Diane Rodd