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What is it about some people that makes you feel like you can go deep with them right away? I remember a time in high school when I felt like I really needed someone to talk to and pray for me. I don't recall the specific reasons why, but I know I decided to go to one of my teachers and just ask if I could talk with her. Also missing from my memory now are any details about our actual conversation, but what strikes me is the question of why I felt so comfortable sharing with her. What was it that made me feel like she was a person with whom I could share my heart? And as a teacher, how I can become that kind of person to my students?
I can think of other people in my life with whom I've had similar experiences. It often seems to be people who have such a deep and genuine love for God and others that you're kind of drawn to them. When you talk with people who are already deeply abiding in God, there's a sense of warmth about them, and you tend to just open to them without completely understanding why.
I want to be like that. It's tempting for me to try to imitate what I see in those people, almost looking for some kind of template I can follow. I suppose imitating a person who loves others deeply is not inherently a bad thing. After all, Paul even talks about this idea when he's writing to the Philippians - "Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice." (Philippians 4:9) Perhaps it can be a good place to start, as long as I don't turn it into an ugly comparison game, thinking I can never measure up to how well he/she loves people!
But is there more to becoming one of these people to whom others are drawn and who feel comfortable letting others open up to them? Is it enough for me to just really want to become one of these people?
I think maybe the way to get there is not to strive to be a person like this, but rather to get closer to Jesus. Jesus was probably one of these kinds of people while He lived here on earth. And people who are like Jesus are going to be like that too.
This week all the teachers have been meeting together for Professional Development. It's a chance for us to get back into the swing of school life and go through some training to prepare us both practically and otherwise for the year ahead. More importantly, it's a time when we can focus and be reminded of what matters most as we teach.
One of the challenges we were given on our first day together was to remember that more than having the best methods of teaching, incorporating the latest technology or maintaining the highest standards of education, the one thing that is going to impact our students in the most powerful and life-changing way is to share the love of Jesus with them. It's our relationships with them, God's love made manifest to them through our everyday interactions with them, that will stick with them for years to come..
Whether you're a teacher or a parent or a friend, all of us are people who interact with other people. May God help us to grow to become people to whom others are drawn because of His love that lives in us. And may we remember that the way to become that kind of person is to be close to Jesus. May we not try to bypass that but rather make it our continual first priority.
Artwork by Michelle Glick
Pray with me...
... Lord, fill each person in the ACSD community with a fresh awareness of Your love
I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. Ephesians 3:16-19
... Father, let Your love be made known through our words and actions with one another
No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us. 1 John 4:12
... God, may the heart of the leadership of ACSD remain in You, led by Your Spirit Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me. John 15:4
~ Carrie Warner, ACSD Prayer Team Coordinator
Soli Deo Gloria
To God alone be the glory