A faith based foundation…
Grace began with the Trinity, and was not intended to address sin. It is God’s primary gift to us. It is the means to our salvation and the basis for our maturing as saints. Grace is the key to our relationships of love, the foundations for our community, and the source of our destiny. Our righteousness is not measured by how little we sin, but is evidenced by how we receive and give love. (John 13:34-35, Philippians 3:9)
The apostle Paul taught us that excellence is a goal worth pursuing (Philippians 1:10). The Greek word translated “excellent” in the New Testament comes from diapherõ,which literally means, “transport” or “differ.” In addition to excellent, Scripture translations also use “best”, “vital”, “the better things,” or “the highest and best.” The Hebrew word translated “excel” in Proverbs 31:29 is ‘alah,’ which means to ascend. Both words are used to encourage us to ascend or transport or carry above the norm – to differ through the qualities of virtue and goodness. Webster’s dictionary defines excel as ‘to be superior or preeminent in good qualities or praiseworthy actions. Excellence is the possession chiefly of good qualities in an unusual degree; surpassing virtue, merit, worth, value.
As we face the formidable challenge of renewing our society’s moral culture, many schools are choosing character education. Developmental psychologist Dr. Thomas Lickona defines the content of good character as virtue – and virtues as objectively good human qualities that we develop by living in harmony with the natural moral law. The ancient Greeks named four virtues we need for strong moral character: prudence (practical wisdom), justice, fortitude (inner toughness), and temperance (self mastery). To some degree, these virtues can be attained through hard work and discipline. But the Christian is called to a higher standard that can only be attained through transformation in Christ. To achieve this, we must recognize our need for Christ and make him Lord of our lives. It is easier to attempt excellence than it is to be humble. While we strive for excellence in character education at Veritas, we want our character to exemplify that of imitating Christ and his humility as portrayed in Philippians 2:1-11. Without Christ as our standard, the concept of “good character” will become mired in subjectivism.
The introductory chapter of Daniel in the Bible explains how Daniel was called, prepared, matured, and blessed of God (Daniel 1:3-4). With the possible exceptions of Moses and Solomon, Daniel was the most learned man in the Old Testament and most thoroughly trained for his important role in history and literature. Consistent to our academic goal for excellence, we believe that God has a special purpose for each child, and we believe in the adequate preparation for each child for this calling. In 2 Peter 1:3-11 we are urged to make our calling and election sure. We are to make every effort to add to our faith, goodness, and to goodness knowledge. Doing this will keep us from being ineffective and unproductive in our knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ, and ultimately, His purpose for our lives. Through the high quality education at Veritas Academy, students will be inspired to develop aptitude for every kind of learning, will be well informed, and equipped to be quick to understand.
God has a specific destiny for each of our lives. This destiny is always greater than our capabilities and goals. Our destiny is a continuing process. The apostle Paul describes this process in Philippians 3, for in his process of maturing, he creates an awareness of his value system changing dramatically because of who he now is in Christ. We own our process of growth. Owning means stewarding or taking responsibility for something. Our destiny is about owning our influence. It is making life choices based upon our convictions, not upon life circumstances. Destiny moves us from a casual Christianity to a life of conviction (Philippians 3:2-16). When we own this process, then like good athletes, we can say like Paul in verse 14 and 15 “I press on toward the goal…” meaning we will strive no matter what our circumstances, to attain our goal. Trusting God will move us into arenas that are more significant than our potential, but to the limit of His purpose for us.