This doesn’t have to be about Christianity, but is there anything we can learn from the lives of religious leaders? Pick a religious leader and write a short biography of their life. Describe how what they did made the world a better place and how they were influenced by their religious beliefs. People like Martin Luther King Jr, Oscar Romero, Mohandas Gandhi and so on might be interesting.
OK, let’s do Jesus. He’s an obvious one (and you’ll get a better effort grade if you avoid him!). I’m not going to retell the story of his life here. It’s quite long. But let’s pick out a couple of things he did:
He forgave people. That’s actually quite hard. Forgiveness is not about asking for explanations or excuses. It is certainly not justifying what you or anyone else has done and explaining how it wasn’t really that bad or it was actaully understandable in the situation. It about accepting that a person has done wrong. Often very badly wrong, and then forgiving them anyway. It’s not as easy as it sounds.
Can I forgive John Venables and Robert Thompson for the kidnap, torture and brutal murder of a four year old boy? Can I forgive Jimmy Saville for rape and child abuse? That’s a hard one. But remember, forgiveness is not about saying what they did was acceptable or right in any way. It wasn’t. But Jesus would forgive them; if they were sorry for what they had done. That might be the key!
He willingly went to his death for something he believed in. That’s hard as well. I don’t mean that trivially; of course risking your life is a hard thing to do, but to stand up to something that you know is wrong when doing so could cause you loss or pain? How many of us truly have that strength? I’d like to think more of us than probably do.
What would you stand up against if you could? Do you think you ahve the courage to risk the things you love or even your life to challenge what is wrong?
Choose your own religious leader and tell us about their life. What did they do and do you think it sets a good example for today?