Are you a New Year’s resolution person? If you’re like the typical person, you might jot down a note or two about how you want to eat healthier, hit the gym more, do more quiet time, and call it good. You might try hard on them for a month but by February they are waning. Come Spring Break you kinda remember them. Come summer you’re done. It is at that point that you find those supposed resolutions scribbled on a post it note and say to yourself, “Oh yeah! I remember those! Guess they’re a lost cause now.” Ever been there? Or maybe you feel like the guy below here …
Here is my suggestion. Simplify. Boil your entire year down to one word that you would like to work on. That word should encompass every part of your life. In the classroom, with your family, your hobbies, your friends, the errands you run, the activities you go to, that one word should drive you. Pick a word that you need. A quality that God might appreciate you taking on. Pray about it. Ask others where they see you struggling if need be, but in the end you know yourself better than anyone. You are your best judge.
Last year my word was patience. I needed it. BAD! After my radical lifestyle change and baptism in 2013, I wanted everything to happen in 2014 … immediately. God began to whisper that word patience to me. Soon I realized that I didn’t need everything to happen at once. I was a mere child in my Christian walk, and I wanted to go so far, but you have to crawl before you run. I was trying to take off into a full sprint! Not after I tried adding patience to my life. Not after I realized that racing through life from one activity to the next was just what Satan wanted to do to tire me out.
Midway through 2014, I felt God whispering a new word to me. Now that 2015 is underway, I know what one word that needs to define my every step is humility. There is something to be said about a Christian man who quietly and methodically does what he needs to do, giving the glory straight back to God. I have found myself being wrapped up in my own interests, puffing myself up, almost competing with other Christian brothers to see how holy I can be. No longer! It is time I worried about the interests of others over my own. It is time I dug deeper into God’s Word to seek His truth as opposed to seeking glory for myself through my own writings. It is time to be humble.
Are you struggling with being positive? Maybe your word would be joy. What about the teacher that struggles with anger outbursts toward unruly students? You had better be choosing a word like self-control. What about any of the fruits of the spirit? Any of them would work: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Let me put it this way … what quality do you wish you had more of? Where is God pushing you to get your life back on track? Maybe He wants you to spread His word more freely. Your word might be witnessing. Pick a word that is attainable but that will challenge you at the same time.
So, I would like to gently ask you all a question. Where do you need to go in 2015? What would God say you could use in your life to mold you into a Christian man or woman pleasing to Him? Pray about this. The idea might not come instantaneously. It may take a week or two to conjure up, but stick to it. Whatever word is best for you, let that one word rule your life. Let others see that one word shine through your actions. Work on it. Practice it. Become it. Share that word with your spouse or accountability partner. Put it in writing somewhere and revisit it on a weekly basis. Chart your progress. You may slip and fall at first, but if you stick to it, it will make you a better person. Plus, choosing one word is so much easier to remember than writing down five resolutions that you forget by July.
Whatever word you choose for yourself, I pray that God will bless your classroom with that one trait this coming school year. May we all be the Christian teachers that God called us to be!