While in Boone recently, we were having a conversation about teachers who make a difference in our lives…individuals who spoke truth and love in our lives to teach us something about ourselves, our worth, and our potential. A friend of ours told us a rather humerous story about an incident when she was growing up where the teacher actually threw a paddle at her. Her response: she threw the paddle back at the teacher! The incident had somewhat a negative impact on her for obvious reasons.
We had a great discussion about how teachers can either elevate our hearts to greatness or they can blind us from seeing who we truly are capable of becoming.
Recently, I’ve been studying the Book of Ecclesiastes written by one who calls himself “the Teacher.” King Solomon’s concluding words are facinating, explaining how the teacher’s greatest characteristics: one who is wise, imparts knowledge, is organized, ponders, searches for just the right words and speaks the plain truth with clarity. The result is that the teacher’s words are “like firmly embedded nails,” making an impression on us that perhaps ‘spurs’ us to action, or causes us to see ourselves and the world around us more differently than ever before.
Rob Bell, author of ‘Velvet Elvis,’ points out that “the best teachers are masters of the obvious. They see the same things we do, but they are aware of so much more. And when they point it out, it changes the way we see everything.” (p.89)
I think of how Jesus looks at us through eyes of love and compassion, through God’s eyes, pointing out all that we are and all that we capable of becoming through Him. When Jesus tells me that He has come to give me life, that my life is hidden in Him, that I am a true child of the living God, and that I possess His power through the Holy Spirit that He sends to guide and direct my life, it changes the way I see myself and has a tremendous impact on the way I live.
To me, and many others, Jesus is the greatest teacher of all. He speaks to the heart…words of love, encouragement, compassion, restoration…and challenges us to do the same.
Recall the teachers in your life who have made the greatest impact. Perhpas you’ll discover the similarities we find in their approach to the one Jesus takes with us.
Add to the painting…who are some of the greatest teachers you’ve encountered and why? How do they compare to Jesus?