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GROWING A BEARD at the school I attended was not an option. It was written into the rules and policies - don’t grow one or be suspended or expelled. I decided at 14 that I would grow a beard to test this policy (I know, your opinion of me has been damaged but you’ll eventually get over it). I was not about to let a school rule deter me and was hauled before the deputy headmaster who said to shave it off or be suspended until I did. He made the mistake of mentioning that the only way I could grow a beard at school was to obtain a medical certificate.

It was easier than I thought to obtain the medical certificate and much to the chagrin of the headmaster and some other teachers, I was allowed to continue growing a beard. I kept it neatly throughout the years of my schooling, but I must admit I had some satisfaction because I was flaunting the rules and there was nothing "they" could do ("they" being those in direct authority over me). I wrote a poem about it in the School newspaper, which ended with words like "man, you better know you don’t own me either" which oozed a rebellious spirit. To me it was a crusade against injustice that I was fighting on behalf of others. I justify my actions on the basis that I was being asked to do something which was unfair, but on reflection, I was just being disobedient. Oh, I wanted to grow a beard and have always had one since then, but it could have waited. I could have come under the authority of the School and didn’t. I didn’t see the point. IT DIDN’T SEEM REASONABLE. I didn’t want to. Matthew 9:27-31 rings a similar bell.

After Jesus heals two blind men, why does Jesus sternly warn them, saying "Don’t tell anyone about this."? (Matthew 9:30). Doesn’t JESUS DOESN’T NEED OR WANT TO BE PROMOTED?Testimonial evidence to a healing is great PR! He doesn’t seem to want to be marketed! He doesn’t need SPONSORS or managers to organise His itinery. DESPITE THE STERN WARNING, these two men who have just been healed ignore Him and go on a speaking tour all around the region to MARKET JESUS AS A HEALER. They were probably quite famous themselves. Is Jesus saying that I need to keep quiet about my faith in Him? I don’t think so. He is saying He’ll let me know when to speak up and when to be silent.

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