A Charge to Students
By Charlton Wimberly
Charlton Wimberly is a PCS dad, an attorney, and currently serves as Chair of the PCS Board of Directors. He and his family attend HopePointe Anglican Church. A few years ago, Charlton gave an inspiring message to PCS students and parents at the year-end awards ceremony to encourage our school families to find rest as well as purpose during their summer break. As we look forward to the end of another school year, we asked Charlton if we could reprint his message for the benefit of all our PCS community. Please take a few minutes to read this post with your family and reflect on what God has in store for you this summer!
Congratulations, Paladins. You’re almost there! In two short weeks, you’re going to be dismissed for Summer Break. But until then, it’s my job to give you some things to think about and some things to do this summer.
Summer vacation is a glorious time. God designed us both for work and for rest. You’ve worked hard this year, and now it’s time for a break. But remember — we want to glorify God in our rest, just like we want to glorify Him in our work.
So even though you won’t have classes or homework this summer, I want to encourage you to…
Take what you have learned at PCS this year and put it into practice.
The Book of James tells us that we are to be DOERS of the Word and not just hearers. If we hear the word and don’t put it into practice, then we deceive ourselves.
The same principle applies to everything you learn at Providence. The goal of a classical education is not for you to have all the answers in your head. Our mission is to train you all to impact your culture for Christ. If you are going to impact anything, then you have to live out what you have learned.
In this room, you all have learned a lot of different things. So applying what you have learned will look different for each of you. But there is one particular way in which I want to encourage you all to live out what you have learned.
Love your neighbor.
During your time at Providence, I know that all of you have learned the importance of loving your neighbor. Listen to what Jesus says in John 13:34-35:
“I give you a new command: Love one another. Just as I have loved you, you must also love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”
Take these words from Jesus seriously. Think about what they mean for our mission. The world will know that you love Jesus by how you love others. Jesus is saying that the world — the culture you are trying to impact — will know something about your relationship with Christ:
- by how you treat your little brother
- by how you talk to your mom
- by how you get along with the other kids at camp, or your coworkers at your summer job
Loving your neighbor seems like a small thing, but it’s so important.
When we think about “impacting our culture for Christ”, we often think about big and lofty things. And that’s not bad. We have a big God, and we should want to be faithful in big ways. But we need to be faithful in the small things too. You can impact your culture for Christ this summer by loving the people around you well.
What does it mean to love others well?
Look at Philippians 2. It means considering others as better than yourselves. It means putting their interests ahead of your own. In short, it means loving others the way that Jesus has loved us.
This isn’t easy. But thankfully, we don’t have to do it alone. We are God’s children, and we can talk to Him in prayer any time day or night, and He hears us.
And the New Testament tells us that if we ask for anything that’s within God’s will, He will give it to us. We can have great confidence that it is within God’s will for us to love the people around us well. So ask God for help, and He will send it.
So students, here is my charge to you for the summer:
This summer, whether you are at the pool, at camp, at work, or with your family or friends—whatever you’re doing:
- Put into practice what you have learned this year.
- Be doers of the Word, and not just hearers.
- Let the world see your love for Christ by the way that you love the people around you.
Keep reading for more information on classical Christian education at Providence Classical School!