Discussion 1: Systems from a Biblical Perspective


EDUC 631


The complicated concept of systems is, in a way, quite simple. Each individual is a piece of a bigger puzzle. Everyone holds a specific position within the system. The system is set up as a hierarchy of levels of authority, while all are working toward the common interest, or good, of the whole group. For instance, in a small community, you have your community members. These members sit at the bottom of the small-community hierarchy. In the next level up, you have your local board members. These individuals hold a position of higher status in the community, while representing each individual community member. The next level is the top of the community's hierarchy, where a chosen community member, in many cases, the mayor, is given an even higher status and the job of making decisions for the whole community. Each member has their own specific job or gift to do, in all levels of the system.

We see these same types of systems throughout our lives. Local, state, and the federal governments work together to form the system of government in our country. Schools consist of students, staff, administrators, and board members. The key to the system is that each individual person must do their specific part in order for the system to work as it should. Ephesians 4:11-13 says, "So Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ" (NIV, 1973/2011).

The bible is full of examples of how God's people are given the skills and opportunities to work together for the common good. The Bible tells us in 1 Corinthians 12 that everyone is given gifts from God with the intention of everyone working together as one body of Christ. "All these are the work of one and the same Spirit, and he distributes them to each one, just as he determines" (NIV, 1973/2011, 1 Corinthians 12:11). We are all a part of the system of the body of Christ, just as we are all a part of the system of the human race. God implores us to use the gifts He has provided to work together, to provide for one another.

Another example of systems at work within the Bible is Colossians 3: 12-14, "Therefore, as God's chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity" (NIV, 1973/2011). God provides us with the needed virtues and we are expected to apply them in ways that will bring everyone together.

Jesus provided us an example of a system at work when He sent out seventy-two individuals to travel ahead of Him by preparing the people for Jesus's arrival (NIV, 1973/2011, Luke 10). God the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit is the head of the system of God's people. He sends out teachers and preachers to help His people learn about Him and the gifts He has provided to them. Then, it is each person's God-given responsibility to use those gifts to spread His message of love to the far corners of the world.

In a system, each individual is assigned a specific task. Each must fulfill his or her assigned task in order for the whole system to work. When individuals do not step up and do their part, the whole system begins to break down and will eventually fail.



EDUC 631

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updated: October 3, 2021

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