Everyday we get bombarded with bad news. Education environments encourage us to critique everything. Social media attempts to embroil us in dogmatic disagreements. It is within this cultural backdrop that Paul’s words from Philipians stand in sharp contrast.

“…whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable – if anything is excellent or praiseworthy – think about such things.”

It can take a real effort to embrace this perspective on life! The risk of being called naive or simple is real. So much of our culture trains our minds to find the fault, look for the problem.

In our school we seek to take a different perspective. We want to be people who see the admirable and praiseworthy. We use the analogy of a gold mine. It does not take any effort to find dirt in a gold mine. It is all around. The real skill is to find the gold. That is where the purpose and value are found.

We particularly apply this to our relationships. We want to train ourselves to see the “gold” in those around us. Most of us are all to aware of our failings. The sharp edges, the odd bits of our personality and where we don’t fit in. What we need are people around us who see past the dirt to find the gold. Just like our heavenly father does. The image of God in each of us, the purpose and promise and potential are waiting to be discovered – no matter how much “dirt”. We want to encourage people in their strengths and what we love about their personality.

We want to be those bringing hope, healing and celebration to the world around us. We want to focus our energy on being a positive influence. When the news insists on telling us all that is wrong in the world we want to celebrate where God and his Kingdom are breaking out. Light is more powerful than darkness and hope trumps despair. God is not hopeless and there is so much to celebrate. We are not naive to the challenges in our world and in our relationships we just choose to see things differently. We want to fuel transformation in individuals and nations as we uncover and call out purpose.

We want to be a people who call out the “gold”.