Grace For The Journey
Last week, students began returning to school and beginning a new school year. The excitement and expectation of learning new things, the joy of moving “up a grade,” and the anticipation renewing friendship and even meeting new friends … and getting school supplies: backpack; notebooks and folders; protractors, compasses, and rulers; paper, pens, pencils (maybe even upgrade to a mechanical pencil!), highlighters and erasers. At college or graduate school one needs to purchase assigned books and software; along with other specialized supplies.
Yet, as important and necessary as these items are they not the primary school supply one must have. No . . .
The one supply each student must have
Is a teachable spirit.
Some students begin the academic year with a preconceived notion of what they will get out of a course, how fast they will go through classes in order to graduate quickly, or enter feeling entitled to A’s for just showing up with a pulse. They don’t take notes in class, don’t take advantage of being mentored by faculty members, don’t participate in campus student life, and take “safe” classes that don’t challenge their existing presuppositions, practices, and prejudices.
It is important the students see school (whether it is elementary, high school, technical school, or college level and above) as a tool to help them be equipped for life. Everything we learn and every skill we develop is intended to help us bring glory to God and help further His kingdom. Many students, and even teachers and parents, miss this along the way. But, God can use “school” to equip us properly for life if one does not possess a teachable spirit.
The book of Proverbs warns against an unteachable spirit:
“… How I have hated instruction! And my heart despised correction! I have not obeyed the voice of my teachers, nor inclined my ear to those who instructed me!” Proverbs 5:12-13
“A fool has no delight in understanding, but in expressing his own mind.” Proverbs 18:2
Proverbs 15:32 and 19:20 attest that a teachable spirit is a nonnegotiable requirement for wisdom. You must be willing to permit God to mold and shape you – to equip you. You must be willing to surrender presuppositions and prejudices and, yes, even traditions. Like Jacob, you must be willing to wrestle with God, or like Paul, to let God take your life plans and completely change them.
King David was teachable and King Saul was not – the hand of God was on one man, but from the other, His hand was removed. Teachers should see themselves as instruments of God available to pour into students the riches of God’s way and their own spiritual journeys so as to optimally equip and prepare students for their life service I know public school teachers have to be careful with “separation of church and state,” but Christian teachers by their spirit, demeanor, and taking opportunities of “teachable moments” still have the right to live out their Christian faith). This can only be accomplished if students possess a teachable spirit.
Students, don’t overlook the importance of a teachable spirit. Your box is full of a myriad of experiences, presuppositions, spiritual experiences, and talents. What will you let God draw, color, and create with you this year? Are you willing to let Him have access to your box to allow Him to continue to create His masterpiece in you?
As we pray for our students during this academic year, pray Psalm 119:33-36 over them:
“Teach me, O Lord, the way of Your statutes, and I shall observe it to the end. Give me understanding, that I may observe Your law and keep it with all my heart. Make me walk in the path of Your commandments, for I delight in it. Incline my heart to Your testimonies and not to dishonest gain.
This is God’s Word For Today … This Is Grace For The Journey
Rest and Rejoice in this eternal truth!
Ephesians 4:7 – “But to each one of us grace has been given as Christ apportioned it.”
Hebrews 4:16 – “Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.”