Do you ever have one of those days where everything is going fine, then all of a sudden, out of the blue, you change on a dime—for the worse? Maybe it is your tongue that sets something afire. It could be an act you did out of pure selfishness. Or maybe it is something you did NOT do out of sheer laziness. You simply let the world get the best of you. I have found myself there a few times recently, and I wonder if you have too. My consistency is wavering. It took my pastor’s message on Sunday to finally hammer some truth into this dilemma.
In Romans 12: 1 it states, “Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship.” A sacrifice is supposed to stay on the altar, releasing an aroma that is pleasing to God. Herein lies the problem for us. We as Christian teachers are living sacrifices. Living sacrifices have free will to get off the altar when the fire gets too hot. Living sacrifices can squirm and twist away from the heat of the moment. Living sacrifices can likewise stay firmly in place, creating a beautiful act of worship to God.
As Christian teachers pursue righteousness in the workplace, we are tested on a daily basis with temptations, Satan’s moments when he leads us to compromise God’s truth. It could come in your plan hour when you’re tempted to check your Facebook status. It might be in the teacher’s lounge as you walk in on a story that involves juicy gossip about a colleague. It could come near the end of the day when that little stinker in your 7th hour pushes all the right buttons to make you lose it. How are you reacting these situations? If you’re like me, the living sacrifice fragrance being sent up to God as at these times is rather rotten. Even downright repugnant!
I had a teacher back in high school that called these moments successful failures. You fail, yes, but you learn from it. You grow. You become a better person from it. Therefore, in the end, it can be considered successful. Failures can be successful, yet they can likewise be repeated knowingly. We might even abuse God’s grace, asking forgiveness for our fallacies, expecting full forgiveness. As living sacrifices, we have the free will to choose whether to learn from our mistakes and hop back on the altar or to continually hop off at those times the fire gets too hot.
Where are you right now? Is God relishing your fragrance or is your aroma less than desirable? Remember, when the heat of the moment strikes, it is never too late to pray … Lord, we are in desperate need of your grace. Forgive us when we fall short of your expectations, yet keep us striving to right our wrongs in the future. Create in us a new heart that yearns for Your Truth. May our lives be a brilliant living sacrifice that glorifies the greatest sacrifice of all, Your son Jesus Christ. Amen.