God has Given You Three Weapons to Transform Lives
Another semester has begun and as educators, we are quickly assessing the challenges before us. Are you discouraged yet? The temptation to be overwhelmed is certainly understandable in light of the magnitude of the task. But we have power. In fact, God has given us three powerful weapons we can use to transform lives.
1. Encourage for Life
I still remember class that day at North Miami Senior High. It was an unusual setting, a makeshift classroom tucked away in the loft of the balcony behind the auditorium. I was 16 and the teacher’s words were surprisingly simple:
Life may be difficult right now, but don’t give up. Life gets better! You will get through this time and one day you will have more freedom and more opportunity. You will always have pressure in life, but you will grow and, most importantly, you will make it!
The message was so ordinary but so timely for me – life will get better and you will make it! That teacher probably had no idea that God was using his words to strengthen a high school student struggling with loneliness and doubt at that very moment. Teachers, encouragement is a powerful weapon that God has placed in your hands. Correction is necessary, encouragement is essential, and the latter multiplies the effectiveness of the former. Encourage for life!
2. Instruct for God
Educators face unique challenges today. The wonderful increase in available tools and resources are sadly outpaced by the expectations placed upon you as instructors. Outcomes are measured, but do they really tell the story? There is a danger of losing heart and growing discouraged. In doing so, we risk losing sight of the beauty of learning and the power of instruction. It is now when we remind ourselves that God calls us to worship him with all of our minds (Matthew 22:37). Instruction is for God! We do it for him because our students are made in his image. We do it for him because he came in the person of his Son to redeem his creation. We do it for him because he is glorified and his image-bearers are blessed when we learn. Instruct for God!
3. Influence for Good
Teachers, we are influencers. This means that how we teach is as important as what we teach. People marveled not only at Jesus’ wisdom, but also his gentleness. He spoke with never before seen authority and yet he was kind. Instruction imparts important information. And attitude, manner, tone, example… these all extend influence. We focus on how we treat others, our peers and students alike, knowing that godliness increases impact. Influence for good!
– Brian Brookins