Thursday, October 6, 2011

Message for Teachers on World Teacher's Day

This morning, I had the privilege of giving an inspirational message to the teachers of Gen. Pio Del Pilar National High School for the "My Teacher, My Hero" World Teacher's Day celebration. I would like to share with everyone the message I delivered which, I hope, would encourage teachers to continue because God sees their efforts as they change the lives of students.

A huge part of our identity as teachers is our leadership role, and we have a tendency to want to be in control of everything that happens. As influencers, it’s critical for us to remember that while we may be leaders in our classrooms, we’re still servants of the almighty God. The Bible provides a great illustration of how to be both a leader and a servant in Joshua 5:13-15.

Joshua 5:13-14 “Now when Joshua was near Jericho, he looked up and saw a man standing in front of him with a drawn sword in his hand. Joshua went up to him and asked, "Are you for us or for our enemies?" 14 "Neither," he replied, "but as commander of the army of the Lord I have now come." Then Joshua fell facedown to the ground in reverence, and asked him, "What message does my Lord have for his servant?"”

Joshua was preparing his troops for the battle of Jericho. Of course, he had no way of knowing just how God was going to cause the walls to come crashing down- he went purely on faith. As they waited, a man came up to Joshua and identified himself as ‘commander of the army of the Lord’. Joshua immediately fell facedown in reverence and asked, “What message does my Lord have for His servant?”. Even though Joshua was a great warrior who was in charge of leading all of the people of Israel, he knew who was in charge and called himself a servant of the Lord. What a wonderful example for us: to put aside our own agenda and pre-determined ideas about the next course of action and ask, What would the Lord have me do?

Before each day starts let me encourage you to take time to think about who you want to lead your classroom. We all know we’re not going to have a perfect day: there will be behavioral issues with students who against the citizen watch in the community, paperwork overloads, and complaint sessions with coworkers. Why not decide now to put God in charge of everything that happens to you? As John Piper wrote in his book Taste and See, “As soon as we discover we have a problem, God has already been working on it and the solution is on it’s way”.

Have you ever purposefully turned your classroom over to the Lord? Sure, you’ve prayed to Him intermittently throughout the day (mostly when you felt ready to strangle one the kids!). You’ve probably encountered situations in which you were powerless and sighed, “Oh, well, it’s in God’s hands now. Nothing else I can do”. It’s certainly convenient (and scriptural) to turn problems over to God when we’re in the thick of them. But what if we take our faith to the next level and give a situation over to God before it even happens?

The deeper question is, Have you ever purposefully turned your life over to the Lord? Life is a lot like the classrooms we handle. It can go out of control, we’ll have relationship problems, budget problems, we’ll encounter difficulties when other people make wrong decisions even when we try to do the right thing. As in the classroom, unexpected things can happen which are beyond our control.

But a wise teacher, or any person, would recognize that there is thatGreater Being who is in charge of everything. He is in control. And it is up to you to decide if you will allow Him to be in charge of your life, and not just your classroom.

James 3:1-2 “Not many of you should presume to be teachers, my brothers, because you know that we who teach will be judged more strictly.”

We will all give an account to Him someday. So why not choose to let Him be the Boss right now and follow His ways. Admit you are powerless, Believe that Christ can change the situation and your life by trusting Him as your Savior and Commit your life to Him.

Happy World Teacher's Day!