St Peter’s Church of England Academy, Raunds - Christian Values

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Trust

Trust in the Lord, trust others and be trustworthy

‘Trust in the Lord’ is a central theme in the Psalms. Time and time again, God is the

acknowledged as the source of all true security and strength. This is contrasted with trust in chariots, horses, weapons, wealth or princes (Psalm 20:7; 118:8-9).

Trust is central to civilised society, to living together in harmony, so it is to be valued and honoured. With wisdom and discernment, we can relearn to trust. We can begin to rebuild trust in our mistrustful society by being reliable ourselves, by not letting people down. Similarly, when we work with others, if we are willing to let go of control ourselves and trust in the abilities and integrity of others, everyone can be enriched. Jesus, after all, entrusted his ongoing work to his disciples and ultimately to us.

Thankfulness

Thank the Lord, appreciate others and be thankful

Thankfulness has always been at the centre of the life and worship of God’s people.

Under the Law of Moses, there were not only sacrifices for forgiveness, there were ‘thanks offerings’ as well. Thankfulness is important. Luke tells the story of the ten lepers who were healed and is probably challenging his readers to examine themselves when he tells of the amazement of Jesus that only one, a Samaritan, came back to thank him. (Luke 17:11-19).

Jesus gave thanks to God (Matthew 11.25) and although the word ‘thankfulness’ is not common in the Gospels, recognition of his dependence on the Father infuses the whole life of Jesus. Thankfulness is a wholehearted response. It stems from a consciousness of God’s gifts and blessings. It is a joyfulness that erupts into praise. Paul frequently encourages us to ‘be thankful’ (Colossians 3:15), to ‘give thanks in all circumstances’ (1 Thessalonians 5:18) and says that our lives should ‘overflow with thankfulness’ (Colossians 2:7).

Reverence

Respect the Lord, respect each other and respect yourself

As Moses approached the presence of God in the burning bush, God said to him: ‘Do not come any closer. Take off your sandals, for the place where you are standing is holy ground.’ This scene captures something of the essence of ‘reverence.’ Reverence is the proper human response to what is holy and sacred. It is related to awe and respect. It is this profound respect that is expressed in the Biblical phrase ‘the fear of the Lord’. This is not fear in the sense of terror or abject grovelling but a reverent acknowledgment of God’s greatness and our complete dependence. Although only God is truly worthy of reverence and worship, the Bible also contains the related concept of ‘honouring’. We are asked to honour one another and one of the ten commandments instructs us to honour our father and mother.

Peace

Seek peace and pursue it. The Peace of the Lord be always with you

The Hebrew term for peace, ‘shalom’, has a deep and complex meaning, encompassing much more than simply the absence of hostility or war.

Shalom includes ideas of healing and health, wholeness and well-being. It means harmony, stability and security within a community. It refers to relationships based on truth and righteousness, where people flourish because they are nurtured.

The Biblical picture of the age to come is one of Shalom. ‘Swords will be beaten into ploughshares’ … ‘the wolf shall live with the lamb… no-one shall hurt or destroy…’

(Isaiah 2:2-4; 11:1-9). Traditional enemies will live together contentedly and the people will be governed with wisdom, understanding and justice.

Friendship

God is our friend, everyone deserves friendship

Friendship is an undisputed value in our society, with children often spending more time with their friends than with family. It is a key concept in the Christian framework, with

Jesus being criticised for being ‘the friend of sinners’ and eating with those whom society

rejected.

Sharing a meal with someone is an explicit sign of friendship and the word ‘companion’ literally means ‘one with whom you share bread.’

Jesus tells stories of the heavenly banquet to which all are invited. The barriers between people are broken down in a loving community around God and Jesus had stern words to say to those who refused to recognise that all are included in this community of

friendship.

Forgiveness

God’s love is so great that forgiveness is always possible

Forgiveness is fundamental to the character of God. Throughout the Bible, God is

described as slow to anger, abounding in love and forgiving sin (Numbers 14:18).

Jesus was uncompromising in his command to forgive. Forgive, he said, ‘seventy times

seven’ (Matthew 18:21). In other words, forgive and keep on forgiving without limit.

Forgiveness was at the heart of everything he did and is at the heart of the Lord’s Prayer. When Jesus declared a person’s sins to be forgiven, it often aroused the anger of those who were less willing to forgive than he was and yet a prayer for the forgiveness of his persecutors was on Jesus’ lips as he died. Christian preaching has always put forgiveness at the centre.

We forgive because we are forgiven. Paul says: ‘Be compassionate and kind to one

another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.’ (Ephesians 4:32)

Compassion

Share in the life of others as Jesus did

‘Compassion’ and ‘sympathy’ have much in common and both are stronger in meaning than simply ‘feeling sorry for’ someone.

The words have their roots in the idea of ‘suffering with’ someone, putting yourself in someone else’s shoes and experiencing what they experience. This leads to a desire to act, to do something. It is not patronizing. It is not about ‘doing good’ from a position of strength or ‘remembering those less fortunate than ourselves’. Compassion requires an act of imagination and humility to share in the lives of others. Notice the qualities that Paul links together. He says ‘clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility,

gentleness and patience.’ (Colossians 3:12)

Jesus showed compassion towards the ‘harassed and helpless’ crowds (Matthew 9.36) and his works of healing were always prompted by compassion for people’s suffering. He wept at the death of Lazarus and was moved to act.

Honesty

Be true to God, be true to others and be true to yourself

Christ said that He is the Way, the Truth, and the Life. If Christ is Truth, then it follows that lying is moving away from Christ. Being honest is about following in God's footsteps, for He cannot lie. If the Christian teen's goal is to become more God-like and God-centered, then honesty needs to be a focus.

Hebrews 6:18 - "So God has given both his promise and his oath. These two things are unchangeable because it is impossible for God to lie."


Wisdom

Using God’s wisdom make decisions and learn from them

Although related to education and knowledge, wisdom differs from cleverness. Wisdom may be best described as discernment gained through life experience and distilled into guiding principles. Sometimes, the word is used in the Bible to refer to the practical and technical skills possessed by an experienced craftsperson or administrator. In the book of Proverbs, Wisdom is sometimes personified and, at one point, is spoken of as she who worked alongside God as a master craftsperson when God created the world. The opposite of wisdom is foolishness, which is a wrong understanding of life. Jesus tells the parable of the Rich Fool (Luke 12:13-21). Although this parable may seem to be mainly about greed and obsession with money, at a deeper level it is about putting our trust or faith in the wrong things. It’s about missing the point; it’s about being a fool. The fool does not realize that his soul is ‘on loan’ from God, who can require it back whenever he likes. The fool thinks that the aim of life is to ‘be happy’ and he thinks that you can gain happiness by doing what you want and be gaining more and more possessions. The wise person recognizes their own limitations, trusts in God and understands that there is more to like than may be seen on the surface.

Justice

We are all responsible to do what is right in the eyes of the Lord

When thinking about ‘justice’, some people think first about giving wrongdoers the

punishment they deserve. ‘Justice’ evokes ideas of ‘just deserts’, ’the punishment fitting the crime’, ‘an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth’.

However, that would be a one-sided picture of justice. Justice also means giving all

people - particularly the poor and oppressed - what it is right and fair for them to have: life, health, freedom and dignity. It is about acting out of a concern for what is right and seeing right prevail. It is about social justice, especially for those who suffer most and are least able to protect themselves.

In Exodus, the people are instructed to deal with everyone fairly and never to show

partiality to one group above another (Exodus 23:2,6).

The Bible emphasises that ‘The righteous care about justice for the poor’ (Proverbs 29:7).

Isaiah says: ‘Seek justice, encourage the oppressed. Defend the cause of the fatherless, plead the case of the widow’ (Isaiah 1:17). Justice is the ‘plumb line’ by which society is measured (Isaiah 29:17).

Humility

Value God, value others and value your own strength

Humility has a central place in Christ’s teaching. It is contrasted with pride, where people ascribe to themselves the honour and glory which is God’s alone. Ultimately, pride seeks to compete with God, whereas humility acknowledges that God is God and that we should live in trusting dependence upon God.

The story of the Fall and the Tower of Babel are both about the potential of humanity to overreach itself, to want to be like God. Thousands of years of human history

demonstrate the persistence and pernicious effects of this tendency.

Jesus taught his followers that if they wished to enter the Kingdom of Heaven they must be like children. This is no sentimental picture of children, who are quite capable of

arrogance and the desire to see the whole world revolve round them. Jesus is challenging people to become like those who have no legal or social standing, to become like

servants. Throughout his teaching, Jesus uses a series of images and examples to

encourage his disciples to ‘take the lower place’, or ‘to wash each other’s feet.’

Hope

Foster your hopes and dreams and share these with God

The Christian understanding of hope illustrates how trivial our everyday use of the word can be. We hope that it will not rain for the picnic, or that the car will start or that the plumber will come tomorrow.

At a deeper level, hope is a universal human phenomenon. People hope for peace in time of war; food in time of famine; justice in time of oppression. Where hope is lost there is despair and disintegration. Hope generates energy and sustains people through difficult times. For some people, hope is so strong that it inspires self-sacrifice to turn hope into reality.

Hope is not always spontaneous or easy. There is work to be done. As well as trusting God, we have to develop qualities of steadfastness in our own character.

Paul says: ‘We know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope.’ (Romans 5:3-4)

Hope is coupled with faith and love as one of the three most enduring gifts of the Spirit (1 Corinthians 13:13).

The 12 Christian Values of St Peter’s were chosen and written by the students, governors and staff. They focus on the key moral Christian values that permeate throughout other cultures, religions and our society.

Order of Values (6 per academic year)


Year 1

     

1. Honesty Matthew 7:12 ‘So whatever you wish that others would do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets.’

2. Hope  Hebrews 10:23 ‘Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.’    

3. Forgiveness Luke 11:4 Forgive us our sins, as we also forgive everyone who sins against us.’    

4. Trust John 14:1 ‘Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me.’

5. Peace John 14:27 ‘Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.’   

6. Friendship Proverbs 27:9 ‘Perfume and incense bring joy to the heart, and the pleasantness of one’s friend springs from his earnest counsel.’


Year 2

     

  

7. Thankfulness Psalm 28:7 ‘The LORD is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and I am helped. My heart leaps for joy and I will give thanks to him in song.’

8. Humility Proverbs 11:2 ‘When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with humility comes wisdom.’

9. Reverence Romans 12:10 ‘Be devoted to one another in brotherly love. Honour one another above yourselves. ‘

10. Justice Amos 5:24 ‘But let justice roll on like a river, righteousness like a never-failing stream.’

11. Wisdom Kings 3:9 ‘So give your servant a discerning heart to govern your people and to distinguish between right and wrong’.

12. Compassion Peter 3:8 ‘Finally, all of you, live in harmony with one another; be sympathetic, love as brothers, be compassionate and humble.’

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Unlocking the gates to achievement within the love of the Lord. Care together, learn together, succeed together and be thankful together.