ARE YOU THIS TEACHER?
I am a Christian teacher. I attend church on the weekends, and you better believe I make time for my small group on Wednesday night, but it is really not for me at work. Sure, I’ll say I’m a Christian to sound holy, but I’m just halfway in. When it boils down to it, I mold into the typical worldly person, and if I am tested? Forget it. I’d rather save face than have someone call me a goodie-goodie Christian, someone who is thought of as uppity and better than others. I’d rather play it safe. Others might call me lukewarm. Like a tepid glass of water.
I am a Christian teacher. I try to pretend to be a Christian for my students by wearing Christian T-shirts, playing Christian music, and putting that little scripture card on my desk. It all looks cool. It makes me look like I play the part, but I really don’t when it comes down to it. I’ll lose my temper when I’m supposed to, forgiveness is such an afterthought, and as for being positive? Well, that’s only when I wake up on the right side of the bed. I’m ordinary. The highlight of my week is probably payday, and as I leave I’ll smile at a colleague saying, “Another day, another dollar.”
I am a Christian teacher. I try to build others up in front of their face because I want to look good. I want them to think I actually believe in them, but the moment they aren’t there I’ll say the opposite. I’m the type of coach that gives his team a winning pep talk, and then whispers to the assistant coach, “Have the stretchers ready on the sideline–we’re gonna get slaughtered!” If another colleague cracks a joke about someone else behind their back, I’ll laugh no matter what, even if it is an off color comment. Who cares anyways? That person can’t hear us talking, so why does it even matter?
I am a Christian teacher. I try not to worry about the future, but I get caught up in it all too often. It’s just so much easier to think of the negative than the positive, especially when my co-workers complain more than a kindergartner being forced to eat his broccoli. When others bring up worries, they sweep through me as well. I try to not think about it, but all I can think about is the bad. One of my Christian friends told me they’d pray for me, but I’m sure they didn’t. I mean, how can Christians be expected to pray without ceasing? That is totally impossible anyhow, so why try?
I am a Christian teacher. Praying is an afterthought for me as well. Oh sure, I will mumble a quick prayer before I eat my meal at lunch, but it exits my mouth like a monotonous, stale breath of air. Once it’s over, I’m back to my gossip, complaining, and negativity. It’s just easier to complain than to speak life into others. And the last thing I want to be thought of is a ray of sunshine. Aren’t those people annoying? Maybe sometimes at least. Other times I look at them with envy, wondering how they do it. I burn inside, knowing there is something more to being a Christian teacher, but quite frankly, it is so much easier to turn my faith off on the job. I save face, and I fit in better. It’s just the easier route, but I do wonder … what if I could go all in? Nah, I’m good.
OR ARE YOU THIS TEACHER …
I am a Christian teacher. I am not shy about my faith, and I am proud to state to others that I worship the Lord Jesus Christ. I could give a rip what others think of me at that point because I am cool with who I am. Their opinion of me matters so little to what the Big Guy upstairs thinks. People can laugh at me all they want, but I know I’m doing it the right way. The worldly thing would be to laugh right back at my naysayers, but I don’t. I feel awful for them! I reach out to help them in every way possible, praying for wisdom on how to witness to these unchurched colleagues.
I am a Christian teacher. I model these principles for my students daily. When they push my buttons, I pray quietly in my head, asking God for patience. I display forgiveness. I am the most positive force they will see all day, and my students know I give my heart to my lessons. I go out of my way to let them know that I care deeply about them, I call them all by name as much as possible, and for 50 minutes a day I not only teach them curriculum with passion; I also mold their character. They are a product of what I expect from them, and they follow my lead. They will be productive members of society someday because I chose to make a difference in their lives.
I am a Christian teacher. Gossip is not in my vocabulary. I stick up for those that are being abused verbally, whether it be teacher or student. Any derogatory comment about someone else is immediately squelched by my positive comment to counteract it. I build people up. I refuse to tear others down, especially when they are not around. As a matter of fact, others have seen this from me so much that they don’t even try to gossip about others around me. And if there is a situation that runs out of control no matter what I say, I simply remove myself. Better to be out of there than to hear that trash.
I am a Christian teacher. Stresses may come my way, but to worry about them is not my thing. Why worry about things I cannot control? So what that the assessment coming up isn’t working properly online, and practice test opportunities have been limited. I pray for those that are in charge of it because that pressure is not on me–it is on them! If my schedule gets thrown out of whack from a snow day, fire drill, assembly, or even something as small as a locker cleanout, I adjust. I make the best out of the situation. I refuse to worry. It does me no good, and all it does is bring me down. Instead I look at everything with a positive attitude, and in turn I feel happy. What would you rather do? Worry or be positive? Think about it. I’d rather be the glass half full guy.
I am a Christian teacher. I pray in my room daily when students are not around. When they are around, if prayer is needed, I whisper silently in my head to God, lifting up whomever needs it. I am slow to speak, slow to anger, and slow to let some 13-year-old kid get the best of me. I am proud to wear the cross around my neck, and I refuse to hide it. If others ask me about it, I tell them proudly that I wear the cross because I am a Christian. Not just a wannabe, but a follower, a true follower of Christ Jesus. Others see me and they are curious about me. They are so curious that they take time to ask me about why I am so different, so positive. My response to them is simple: It is because I am a Christian.
Verse of the day: “‘I know your works: you are neither cold nor hot. Would that you were either cold or hot! So, because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth” (Revelation 3: 15-16, NIV).