For the last three years senior pupils at Auchmuty High School have voted on topics they would like the chaplaincy team to cover in assemblies. Each year we have written and presented assemblies built around the three most popular topics, which have included social media, identity, rest & relaxation, spirituality, relationships and love. This year we have decided to link the three topics that were chosen (Ourselves, Our Planet and Friends) into a series on health.
God’s people in the Old Testament had a much more holistic approach to health than we do today and the Hebrew word Shalom (often translated as peace) would be used to consider health in terms of our relationships as well as our physical and mental health. For God’s people in the Old Testament “health” involved your physical and mental health, as well as your relationship with God, your relationship with others, your relationship with yourself and even your relationship with the planet. This year we want to stop and take a health check and consider what it means to be healthy in terms of our relationship to ourselves, our planet and our friends.
We started the series, earlier this month, by looking at our relationship with ourselves and exploring the implications of Genesis 1:26 where God said “Let us make human beings in our image” (MSG).
After starting with a brief look at the NHS and the importance of self esteem in terms of our health and wellbeing, we explored the fact that We believe that our value as humans comes from the fact that God created us and that he created us to be like him. According to the Bible we are the only thing in God’s creation that was made in his image, and we believe this is what gives us great value and worth. That means that there is nothing we can do to make ourselves more valuable and there’s nothing we can do to lose our value. Our worth and value don’t come from anything we can do, they’re not conditional, they’re something that we have, just because we’re human.
Following on from this we looked at the example of Nick Vujicic, a Christian born in Australia with no arms and no legs. We regularly speak to pupils about Nick, as he’s such a charismatic and encouraging man of faith and his enthusiasm and passion for life is infectious. (If you don’t know about him, look him up and be prepared to be amazed – just search “no arms, no legs, no worries”.) Nick travels the world and shares his faith with millions of people each year. In our assembly we showed a video of Nick visiting Singapore and wanted to reflect on what he says about our value as humans.
“The truth of my value is not determined by how I look, how smart I am or how many friends I have…I need to be the best me I can be”.
Nick has also famously said that “it’s a lie to think you’re not good enough, it’s a lie to think you’re not worth anything.” As we ended our time with pupils we encouraged them to think about the truth of those words and emphasised that as we start a year of considering what it means to be healthy, we have to start by having a healthy understanding of who we are, people of worth and value, people made in the image of God.