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  • Writer's pictureDr. Jackie Minor


Updated: Feb 12

They say hindsight is 2020. I’m not sure I necessarily agree, at least not all the time. Sometimes when I look back on my life, God’s activity and purposes are clear to me; at other times, not so much.  One thing I do know is that God wastes nothing (one of my all-time favorite sayings). God has taught me many lessons and continues to make Himself known as I walk this life with Him.

I’ve been thinking recently about how beneficial it would be if believers took the time to share their journeys with each other. I’m not sure why we feel comfortable talking to others about work, family, recreation, and even the weather but uneasy sharing about what God is doing in our lives.  As the enemy continues to gain ground, we as believers need to share (at least with each other) what we are experiencing, learning, and hearing from the Lord. We are not to share to toot our own horn but to encourage others. This is my heart as I write this blog.  I want you to be encouraged by what I have learned in case you find yourself struggling with some of the same issues. 

The older I get, the more clarity I seem to have on what truly matters. This is probably a combination of age, experience, and spiritual maturity all working together. Let’s face it. When we are in the midst of it—the busyness, the chaos, the uncertainty, the frustrations, the constant juggling of priorities—it’s hard to keep God’s Kingdom agenda in the forefront of our thinking.  Sometimes we are just trying to get through the day without collapsing from physical and emotional exhaustion! It’s so easy to shift into survival mode and succumb to worldly thinking, especially if most of our co-workers are not believers. Please understand that I’m not dissing unbelievers; I’m just acknowledging that we can’t expect the lost to have a Godly perspective when it comes to our circumstances.

Let me begin by stating the obvious. I don’t have all the answers; however, I have learned a great deal through the years, and it’s time to share!  As I brainstormed my list, it became obvious I couldn’t explain everything in one blog, so consider this Part 1.  I hope you will come back for Part 2 in two weeks.  As I said earlier, my sole purpose for writing this is to encourage you. In addition, I pray you will consider sharing your own stories with believers around you, especially in our schools.  We all need to be reminded of how big our God is and why He has called us to serve in one of the best occupations ever!




“For God watches how people live; he sees everything they do.” Job 34:21

Educators are underappreciated, which is something we hear all the time. If we aren’t careful, this constant reminder can be downright depressing. I can remember thinking, “I don’t have to be patted on the back 24/7, but a thank you now and then would be nice.” I imagine you have thought the same thing a time or two.  It’s okay to want appreciation (we’re human), but we have to guard against needing appreciation to feel valued. 

God created you in His image and likeness (Genesis 1:26-27; Genesis 5:1). God says you are His masterpiece (Ephesians 2:10). In God’s eyes, you are valuable. Although it is nice to be well thought of by others, God’s opinion about you is the only one that truly matters. When we become over-concerned about lack of affirmation, we run the risk of seeking glory for ourselves.  As a result, we can put way too much pressure on ourselves. We can catch ourselves trying to live up to others’ expectations instead of God’s expectation, which is to reflect His glory and not our own (Romans 11:36). 

The next time you feel no one has a clue how hard you are working, look upward and repeat Hagar’s words. “You are the God who sees me” (Genesis 16:13). Know this is enough.

Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ.  Colossians 3:23-24 (emphasis mine)




And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit. 2 Corinthians 3:18 

After close to 40 years of serving in education, I can honestly say I have adopted the following mindset: “How can I get better?” I’m not sure if I am just wired this way or if it is a consequence of working in a culture of high standards and continuous improvement. While this isn’t necessarily a bad thing, a constant focus on self-improvement can be a joy killer. I tend to focus too much on where I’m falling short, losing sight of the work God has already accomplished in my life.

I’m learning to embrace the transformation process as a reflection of God’s love for me. After all, He loved us so much that He sent Jesus to die on the cross for us so we could be in relationship with Him. It is only through this tremendous sacrifice that you and I have access to the Holy Spirit, which Paul explains is the source of our transformation.  Isn’t this exciting? As we yield ourselves in obedience, the Holy Spirit goes to work making us more like Christ.  Pretty soon, the internal changes become external, and that is definitely worth celebrating.

So take time to celebrate! Every time you refrain from gossip and speak a kind word instead, celebrate!  When you want to scream in frustration but remain calm, celebrate!  When you struggle to make time to pray but pray anyway, celebrate! Thank God for the changes He is making in your life!

I truly believe shifting our thinking in this way will make such a difference in how we approach our work. Granted, we aren’t perfect.  We will fall short, but the Christian life shouldn’t be a joyless life.  You can’t celebrate something you haven’t acknowledged. I challenge you to stop and ask God to help you identify every little (or big) area of growth. Celebrate by thanking Him for changing you, and ask Him to continue to do His work in your life so you can reflect His glory. 

Throw off your old sinful nature and your former way of life, which is corrupted by lust and deception. Instead, let the Spirit renew your thoughts and attitudes. Put on your new nature, created to be like God—truly righteous and holy. Ephesians 4:22-24



And though a man might prevail against one who is alone, two will withstand him—a threefold cord is not quickly broken. Ecclesiastes 4:12

Being an educator can be a lonely job.  It’s easy to get isolated in our classrooms or offices. There are only so many hours in the day, and those hours are filled with tasks that often prevent us from interacting with other adults in ways that are not work-related.  It’s just the way it is. Therefore, if we are going to be in community, we will have to make it a priority.

I have to admit that I don’t think this was one of my strengths. My task-driven mindset often won out over building spiritual connections.  I guess this is why being in community has made my list. I recognize now how critical it is for Christian educators to surround themselves as much as possible with other believers. When the challenges come, when confusion sets in, when frustration mounts, we need Godly influences to help us see past our current circumstances.  We need people to pray for us and remind us of the truths of God’s Word.

I’m reminded of the story in Exodus 17. In the battle between Israel and Amalek, Moses grew tired. He couldn’t do the work he’d been assigned alone. It took the support of Aaron and Hur, holding up his arms on both sides, to defeat the enemy. Just like Moses, we all need brothers and sisters in Christ who will lift up our hands when life becomes too heavy.

Galatians 6:2 urges us to “bear one another's burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ(Galatians 5:13-14). Being in community sometimes means we will be the beneficiaries like Moses. At other times, God will call us to do the heavy lifting. Bearing one another’s burdens is part of what makes our lives full. Being able to pray with someone, offer practical assistance, or just listen not only gives them the courage to face another day but strengthens our faith as God’s power is displayed on the battlefields of life.

What is the status of your Christian community? If you have one, thank God for each other, and continue to invest in your relationships.  If not, this must become a new priority for you.  Pray and ask God to lead you to one or two believers in your workplace.  You were not meant to walk this journey alone.

So then, as we have opportunity, let us do good to everyone, and especially to those who are of the household of faith. Galatians 6:10


Have you ever thought, “I wished I knew then what I know now?”  Surely, I’m not the only one! I’ve learned that life isn’t about perfection but about growth. I’m so thankful God is bigger than our mistakes.  By His grace, He takes what little we have to offer and uses it for His purposes.  This is why it is so important to share about the amazing work of God—what we are learning, how we are growing, and where God is active in our lives. I pray these truths I have experienced will not only encourage you in your work as educators but also motivate you to share your own stories with others. Stay tuned; there is more! Look for Part 2 in two weeks!




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