Everyone remembers their favorite or most impactful teacher. Mine was Ms. Valerie Tate. She was my young and vivacious English teacher during my freshman year of high school. Her bubbly yet dry sense of humor was entertaining as she fostered my love of language arts with her unique teaching style. Her passion for literature was contagious. She widened my vocabulary as we dissected censored lyrics written by infamous rappers. She enhanced and encouraged creative writing skills daily. Every hour in her class was purposeful and memorable.
I even remember a poem that she encouraged us to memorize for extra credit (because high school students don’t do anything without an incentive). I still use this poem when I hear the overuse of excuses or when I notice that I am capable of doing something, but am quick to offer an excuse instead of trying.
“Excuses are tools of incompetence,
They build monuments of nothingness.
Those who use them seldom do anything,
I am striving for success, therefore I will offer no excuses.”
Another teacher who not only changed my life but saved it was Jesus Christ.
The Gospels are flooded with the account of His ministry. Jesus is the greatest of teachers, and His teachings are still relevant today. They continue to challenge us, grow us, and change our hearts to resemble His. In Matthew, Jesus reminds the student that he is not greater than his teacher, but is to resemble Him.
“Students are not greater than their teacher, and slaves are not greater than their masters. Students are to be like their teacher, and slaves are to be like their master.” Matthew 10:24, NLT
I am sure we all have encountered people who seemed to know it all or loved to portray that they had it all together and had “arrived.” Yes, even Christians. This scripture encouragingly shows that none of us is greater than our Teacher. We are continuing to be conformed to His image daily. We all still have so much to learn from Him. His Spirit still has so much room to work within us. Bondservants in biblical times were in some cases highly educated and served their masters as educators to their children or managed their masters’ finances. They became slaves from captivity, birth, or sold themselves because they desired a higher quality of life. No matter how much more intelligent they might have thought they were, they were to yield to their masters’ leadership.
“And since I, the master of the household, have been called the prince of demons, the members of my household will be called by even worse names.” Matthew 10:25, NLT
Jesus says that He is our Master. Many times in scripture Paul expresses how he now is a bondservant of Christ Jesus. He is chained to the Gospel and enslaved to grace. Since Christ has been persecuted and falsely accused, so will His household be.
When students reflect their teacher and bondservants resemble their master, they should expect to receive equal treatment. How encouraging is it that our Lord says it is because of whom you reflect that you will be ridiculed and mocked as He was. A great teacher leads by example and experience. Let’s strive to live a life with no excuse for ridicule and mockery other than the name of Jesus.
Are you leaving room in your heart for Christ
to challenge, grow, or change you?
How can we pray for you today?
Please leave a comment.
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