Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Message from Jim Callahan, High School Teacher

Then Peter came up and said to him, “Lord how often will my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? As many as seven times?” Jesus said to him, “I do not say to you seven times, but seventy times seven.” Matt 18:21&22.

The standard operating procedure for the sinful human heart is to seek personal vengeance when we have been wronged by our fellow image bearer. This carries over to teachers and their dealings with students. I know a retired Arizona High School teacher with over thirty years in the classroom that advised me to do as he did. The first day of class was when he infirmed his students not to worry about him getting mad at them. He told them “I never get mad at my students, I get even.” The retired teacher insisted that this approach was best when wronged by students. Pay-back works like nothing else for classroom management and teacher survival. This advice is of the devil, the father of lies. Clearly many sinful actions performed by our students in the classroom require responses designed to build godly character and/or deter future sin. However, vengeance has no part in this. Our Lord made it very plain that we are to have a forgiving spirit when dealing with those who sin against us. This forgiving attitude is essential for teachers that want to honor the Lord in their classrooms. From the heart we must forgive our students. This is not easy. Nevertheless, it is required by God. We hear a lot today about what qualifications are necessary for teachers to achieve excellence. I suggest that a forgiving spirit must be on the top of that list.

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