Teacher friends and non-teacher friends, Pastor Andy Stanley had a wonderful sermon today that has so many truths in it that I knew I had to pass it on to you. This sermon series is on happiness, and it gets to the core of what we think makes us happy vs what Biblical happiness, which is the only true happiness, really is.
I wanted to pull out some of the best points that spoke to me today and apply to me as a teacher but will apply to those of you who do not teach also. The sermon link is below and as you are cooking or doing one of the other thousands of things we have to do, let this one play. For me, it is very timely.
His sermon centered around the Beatitudes.
Points that stood out:
- You can’t control outcomes. This is at the core of what bothers us about education. Someone has put on us the expectation that we can somewhat control the outcome. Teachers (especially), this is a lie from the enemy. I can’t even control the outcome of muffins that only asked me to add water. We must follow Christ, be obedient to His calling, and the rest is up to Him. We are not happy as long as we dwell on outcomes.
- “God blesses those who are poor and realize their need for him, for the Kingdom of Heaven is theirs.” Matthew 5:3 This total dependence on God is where happiness lies. As a teacher, this is where I live. Many years ago, I realized that I was lost in the classroom without the leading of the Holy Spirit, God’s protecting me, watching over me and ultimately guiding my every step. This doesn’t mean I have always listened, but at least I realize my total loss without letting God take over in my classroom. Most every morning before school, I say, “The battle is the Lord’s”.
- “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.” Matthew 5:9 We are peacemakers. Each and every day, we try to teach students to be at peace with each other. We try to reconcile our fellow teachers that are lost to God, thereby being peacemakers. Happy are the peacemakers, but Andy Stanley makes a great point that troublemakers target happy people. We are almost salt in a wound. This can happen with our students. There is something that attracts them to us but can also make us a target.
So, here is Andy Stanley’s sermon. Remember this week as we walk back onto the battlefield, we are not home. This earth is not our home. It is difficult to discipline students and hang tough in that classroom when this tough, hard nosed person is not who you really are. This is the person that you must be since many of your students do not know how to show respect for themselves, you, or classmates. They are not taught this at home. As one of my daughters and I were sitting in the mall yesterday waiting on my other daughter, we witnessed a mom screaming at her middle school aged daughter. Her demeanor was so full of rage. Her daughter was humiliated.
These are the homes that our students come from. When they react to our discipline with disrespect, they are actually reacting to that parent. So many have never had an adult who cared, much less one who tried to teach them the right ways to behave.
Fall break is coming!!! Hang tough.
Praying for you this week,