Core scripture: “Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.” (Ephesians 4:29)
Message: A man was driving. He was quite the lucky guy. He had inherited a billion dollars, and all he had to do was pick up the money from this office building. Then, what do you know, the guy’s car broke down, and he had to walk the remainder of the way. Eight miles through the snow. He had left his jacket at home, so the guy was freezing, but he trudged on, complaining the entire way, “Woe is me! My car broke down, and I don’t have a jacket. Oh, woe is me!”
What would you say to this guy? How many of you would laugh at his complaining and say, “Dude, you are getting a billion dollars! Why are you upset?” Seems kinda silly, doesn’t it? This hypothetical story still proves a powerful point. As Christians we have streets of gold awaiting us in heaven, yet we have the audacity to complain about trivial things along the way, venting frustrations that pretty much mean nothing considering the reward at the end.
I want to explore some typical complaints teachers spew, including myself, and twist them into an eternal perspective that sheds light and positivity. Let’s get started …
- The unexpected snow day that wrecked your plans and made you juggle your entire schedule gave you quality time with your family at home.
- That parent meeting that took up the entire plan period and seemed to go nowhere allowed you a glimpse of that child’s home life, giving you a new perspective about their persona.
- Your unruly class that totally decimated a lesson you had planned allowed you to change the plan to better the educational experience of your afternoon classes.
- The class clown that purposefully ripped a ginormous fart, setting the entire audience off in laughter, provided you with a reason to smile as well. (Sorry, farts are always funny—even at 43-years-old.)
- The state testing that sucked away two entire days of quality teaching time gave you time to catch up on grading, planning, and writing encouraging notes to students to propel them through the end of the year.
- That monthly faculty meeting that might seem to be a waste of time actually gives you time to bond with colleagues you don’t normally see too often.
- The insane day of teaching where a plethora of dung is slung at you from beginning to end gives you a hilarious story to share with your spouse that evening. Sorry, but sometimes there is nothing you can do except laugh at those full moon days.
- The unexpected fire drill that totally dismantled your lesson allowed you to enjoy the outside, get some fresh air, and take a deep breath before your afternoon classes.
- The professional goals you write for the district that seem to suck away time actually gave you time to analyze assessment results that you needed to look at more closely.
- The Dr. Pepper you saved in the faculty lounge fridge that got snaked by someone else saved you 150 calories added to your waistline.
One of my favorite verses in the Bible is Romans 8:28 which confirms that God works everything for our good. Live that out this week. Rid yourself of complaints that only bring negativity to others. Live your life with an eternal perspective that realizes there will indeed be some bumps in the road, but the road of a Christian always leads to something well worth the wait.
Challenge: What have you been complaining about this week? Whatever it may be, find a way to twist it into a positive.
Just for fun: A preacher, a blonde, and a kid are getting ready to crash in a plane. The blonde immediately grabs a parachute and throws herself out of the plane. The preacher said, “You take the last parachute, child. I know where I am going in the end.” The kid looks up and smiles, saying, “Don’t worry. That lady just took my backpack.”
Prayer: Father, wipe me clean of complaints this week so I can live out Your perfect plan for me. Amen.