As a student in a Catholic high school, you spend a lot of your time learning about Christian values in the classroom and during Mass. But how often do you truly stop to consider how you can live out those values during the school day?
High school students spend as much as 50 percent of their waking hours at school—more if they play sports or take part in other after-school activities! With so much of your day taking place at school, it’s important to be mindful of how your behavior reflects the values you’re cultivating within yourself. Not only will you create a better high school experience, but you’ll have a positive impact on those around you. Here are five ways to live out Christian values during the school day:
1. Be a Servant to Others
“Amen, I say to you, whatever you did for these least of mine, you did it for me.” Matthew 25:45
Serving others is one of the most essential components of a Christian life. When we practice charity in the world around us, it is an act of social justice, compassion, and love. As our students know, at Paraclete High School we encourage serving others through the requirement of Christian Service Hours. Christian Service Hours are a way to serve the larger community of the Antelope Valley and spread the love of Christ.
While Christian Service Hours outside of school are an important component of living your values, there are plenty of opportunities to be a servant to others during the school day. When you strive to be helpful, or even simply cheer someone up if they’re having a rough day, you are putting the needs of others before your own, and that has a huge impact—on others and on yourself!
2. Practice Honesty
“Therefore each of you must put off falsehood and speak truthfully to your neighbor, for we are all members of one body.” Ephesians 4:25
You may not think about it, but we all have many opportunities to tell white lies throughout the day. Practicing honesty is one way to become more mindful of your values. In the classroom, on the sports field, and during other activities throughout the day, strive to be truthful with your words and actions. Of course, honesty is not about hurting someone’s feelings or speaking hurtful words. After all, if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything!
3. Work and Learn with Integrity
“For we are taking pains to do what is right, not only in the eyes of the Lord but also in the eyes of man.” 2 Corinthians 8:21
We all encounter difficult or frustrating situations throughout the day. As a high school student, working with integrity means trying your best, even when it may feel challenging to do so. It also means, whether you win or lose, doing so graciously.
Another way to show integrity at school is to meet your responsibilities. From completing your homework on time to showing up for team practices or club meetings, upholding your responsibilities is a straightforward way to show that you are engaged with what’s happening around you.
4. Demonstrate Respect
“Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor.” Matthew 7:12
Every human being deserves respect, and school is the perfect place to practice giving it. During the school day, practice showing respect to everyone you come across, whether teachers, fellow students, or support staff.
What are some ways to show others respect during the school day? Here are some easy examples for you to think about:
- When someone else is speaking, listen attentively.
- Follow directions.
- Hold the door for someone, or help someone carry something heavy.
- Speak to everyone with kindness.
- Treat others how you would like to be treated.
5. Show Forgiveness
“Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.” Colossians 3:13
We can’t control the actions of others, but we can control the way we respond to them. Even though other people may not always act in a way we agree with, we can make an effort to forgive them.
It’s important to forgive others—but it’s just as important to be forgiving of yourself. Maybe you didn’t do as well as you wanted on a test, or maybe you feel that you performed poorly during a competition. Sometimes, failure is inevitable. The important thing is that you are able to pick yourself up and try again; in other words, be forgiving of your own mistakes and learn from them to do better next time.