Core scripture: “Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.” (Colossians 3:12)
Message: We have arrived at the three glorious weeks between Thanksgiving and Christmas Break. It kind of reminds me of the last lap on Mario Kart when the music gets loud and fast, and all of a sudden you are dodging koopa shells, slipping on bananas, and praying, “Dear, Lord, just let me survive this madness!” Been there? Yep, me too.
Colossians 3 is one of my favorite chapters in the Bible. Today we will use it as a road map to survive the next three weeks. Allow these words to sink into your heart. Meditate on them. Pray that your actions will line up with what Paul is charging the Colossians to do. Truth be told, he is speaking to all Christians, and that certainly means you and I.
The meat of Colossians 3 can be found in verses 12 to 15: “Since God chose you to be the holy people he loves, you must clothe yourselves with tenderhearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. Make allowance for each other’s faults, and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others. Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds us all together in perfect harmony. And let the peace that comes from Christ rule in your hearts. For as members of one body you are called to live in peace. And always be thankful.”
Let’s break this down. To clothe yourself in the winter time, layers are important to stay warm. Much like the layers we wear on our bodies, we must also “clothe” ourselves with Christian qualities. Mercy. Kindness. Humility. Gentleness. Patience. If you put those qualities on every morning, you will be showing your students who Christ is.
Be forgiving. Kids this time of year can be completely out of whack. They are going to mess up. As the excitement for Christmas builds, don’t take things so seriously. Don’t lower your expectations, but at the same time if a kid forgets his pencil or doesn’t charge his iPad, there are bigger tragedies in the world. The grace you give students this time of year will stick with them.
We end with the word that binds everyone together in perfect harmony: love. Paul leaves this one for last on purpose. He wants it to stand out. And let’s face it, if you are showing love, you most certainly are showing the rest of the qualities he mentions. Be different. While other teachers are griping and complaining, losing patience, choose the other path. Be loving.
What is the result of living this way? Peace. Not sure about you, but I need that peace these last few weeks of school. Hang in there! You can make it! It is time to sprint to the finish line, and the reward shall be two weeks off with family and friends, celebrating the birth of our Savior, Jesus Christ.
Challenge: Read Colossians 3 on your own. Write out the truths that God is speaking to you through His Word here, and pray that those truths will prevail over temptation.
Just for fun: Principal Gerry Brooks has some games he suggests to liven up faculty meetings. Check it out below!
Prayer: Lord, help me be loving and forgiving with my students over the next few weeks. May my conduct show me to be a Christian teacher. Amen.