Be-Attitudes for Teachers: A Devotional for Sunday School & Other Bible Teachers
Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will in all things grow up into him who is the Head, that is Christ. (Eph. 4:15)
You go to class and wonderful life-giving words flow out of your mouth. You communicate how truth makes a difference in day-to-day living. You go home and live out your week, sometimes applying truth and sometimes failing miserably.
You need to be honest with yourself. Even the "little" character flaws do matter. You need to be honest with God and confess your sin to Him. And, you need to be honest with your students. They need to see that you are not all-knowing, all-powerful, always rational, always just, and always on top.
Why is authenticity before your class important? They too go home and live out their week, sometimes applying truth and sometimes failing miserably. They may be feeling that something is terribly wrong with them. If their Christian teachers and leaders are up high on a pedestal, that is the standard to which they will feel they should attain. Since they can't reach it, why try? They are probably thinking that everybody but them consistently succeeds spiritually. They may think that only they struggle.
By sharing your fears, limitations, weaknesses, prejudices, and wrongful motives along with your strengths and victories, you make the Christian life seem possible, like it is for real people. You encourage them to keep going. You help them to see that at the foot of the cross, we are all on the same plane - people in need of God's grace and power.
As a teacher, you must be who you claim to be. When there is an inconsistency between what you say and do, be honest. If you struggled with putting the lesson into practice in the past but have gained victory over it, be honest.
Jesus, the Master Teacher, was truth incarnate. No incongruities existed in Him. He perfectly embodied truth in His day to day life. He had no failures. Yet, He did know what it was to be human. He understands our frailties and communicated that He had similar temptations: "For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are - yet was without sin" (Heb. 4:15). What was the point of sharing this with us? Hebrews 4:16 says that it is so we can "then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need."
Similarly, when you as a teacher are honest, you help your students find the answers to their struggles. And, you let them know that they are not alone.
For Teachers: Etch out at least one half hour of solitude in which you come before the Lord to examine your heart and life. Are you being honest with God, yourself, and others?
For Leaders: Model authenticity before your teachers. Dare to share with them a struggle you are having in your area of ministry. Ask for their prayers.
For Group Use: After completing this devotional, brainstorm reasons why people fail to be honest. Break into small groups wherein they can share with each other which reason they struggle with the most and then pray for one another.Share This with Others:
(Last updated 03/01/18)
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