“Take the high road, even though it hurts.” My father-in-law, Jerry Eisman, during one of the toughest times in my life, spoke these words to me as a way of encouragement. It was one of those times where taking the high road was a difficult path, one that was furthest from my mind. And yet, these words remind me of the way we are as Christians to live. I am reminded of Luther’s explanation of the eighth commandment when he states “explain everything in the kindest way” (Luther’s Small Catechism p. 13). Wouldn’t it be great if we always explained everything in the kindest way? How many arguments and misunderstandings would we avoid, by this simple understanding of just one commandment?
And yet, this is what we are called in Christ to do. We are to live a life that reflects the love of God, to take the high road. We do this, not to earn any favor with God, but to follow the example of Christ who himself baffled people because he did not act as one who was controlled by the flesh. Paul in Romans states “For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit. For to set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace” (Romans 8:5-6, ESV).
Our Lutheran Schools teach things of the Spirit spoken of in Romans. We strive as private schools to use our time, talents, and treasures wisely to reach the most people. In addition, we are privileged to carry on this instruction of the Spirit. We are privileged to speak of the one who embodied God’s love for us, Jesus. Sometimes this can hurt. Sometimes this can be unpopular or even a bit scary. As painful, unpopular, and scary as it can be, may it be a privilege.
So in the words of a veteran Lutheran teacher and principal that I had the honor of calling father-in-law, “Take the high road, even though it hurts.”