Dr. Jackie Minor
There Once Was an Educator…
There once was an educator…
who entered the school building with spunk and joyful anticipation,
who treated every child with compassion and fairness,
who went the extra mile to ensure a student’s success,
who spoke to parents with kindness,
who partnered with and supported colleagues,
who respected and supported his supervisors,
who picked up the slack when others needed help,
who used words to edify,
who was willing to forgive others, and
whose outward actions reflected an inward transformation.
There once was an educator who knew Jesus.
I hope this little poem doesn’t sound too far-fetched to you. While none of us is perfect, knowing Jesus changes everything, and knowing Jesus should continue to change us day-by-day.
The Bible tells us when we are in Christ, we are a new creation. Old things pass away and all things become new (2 Corinthians 5:17). Becoming new is a lifelong process; it is an inward transformation orchestrated by the work of God through the Holy Spirit.
All of us are looking with unveiled faces at the glory of the Lord as if we were looking in a mirror. We are being transformed into that same image from one degree of glory to the next degree of glory. This comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit. 2 Corinthians 3:18
So why is it so hard sometimes to be the educator in the poem? After all, we know how important it is to be set apart. As Christian educators we desire so much to reflect the love and light of Jesus to those around us. Many days we do. However, the “not so good” days can leave us confused, discouraged, or indifferent. This is not a place any of us wants to be, and we know God does not desire this either!
Transformation is not a future event. Transformation occurs moment-by-moment, day-by-day. I constantly have to focus on how God is working in my life; otherwise, I miss it. Lately, God has convicted me of three areas I really need to work on. Some days are better than others, but I hope you might find these helpful.
1. Give the Holy Spirit Access
As we just read in 2 Corinthians, we are being transformed by the work of the Holy Spirit in our lives. All of who have accepted Jesus as Savior are given a gift, the Holy Spirit.
Because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into our hearts, crying, "Abba! Father!" Galatians 4:6
However, you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. But, if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Him. Romans 8:9
In her book, Jesus in Me, author Anne Graham emphasizes that we all have the Holy Spirit at conversion. The problem is we don’t give the Holy Spirit access to every nook and cranny of our lives. When we refuse to let God in, transformation will not occur. It is a two-way street. God is not going to force Himself on us. Earnestly seeking God through prayer and Bible study invites the Holy Spirit to do His transformative work in our lives.
2. Repent of Unconfessed Sin
I know this isn’t a popular topic, but the Bible is pretty clear on this one. Sin is a barrier. God hates sin. Otherwise, He wouldn’t have sent Jesus to die on the cross for our sin. God desires to be in right relationship with every believer, but sin gets in the way. The evil one wants all of us to buy into the lie that we can hide or ignore our sin. If we pretend it isn’t there, it will just go away. We know better. Unconfessed sin ultimately leads to guilt and shame. This is Satan’s weapon which often leads Christians into a downward spiral. We have to fight this off with all of our might. Remember, the Bible says,
If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and cleanse us from everything we’ve done wrong. John 1:9
True repentance means leaving it all at the foot of the cross. Sometimes it is hard for us to forgive ourselves and to truly believe that God will forgive and forget. If you struggle with letting go, just remember what Jesus did at the cross. He died so you and I would not have to live in guilt or shame anymore.
So just as sin ruled over all people and brought them to death, now God’s wonderful grace rules instead, giving us right standing with God and resulting in eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. Romans 5:21
3. Speak God’s Truth into Your Heart
Since we are flawed human beings, we have a hard time grasping that we can change, that God can really transform us from the inside out. There is always something or someone that will remind us of the “old” nature. If I listen to the old truth, I could start to believe it again, and this is dangerous. We must learn to speak the “new” truth and counter Satan’s lies with God’s Word. It is only the Word of God that matters.
For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago. Ephesians 2:10
One of the “buzz” words these days is “affirmations”. By speaking affirmations, many claim our perspective changes, which ultimately impacts our success in life. While I do agree positive thoughts are nice, there is no power in positive thoughts. There IS power in the Word of God. Let God’s Word be your affirmations!
So shall my word be that goes out from my mouth; it shall not return to me empty, but it shall accomplish that which I purpose, and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it. Isaiah 55:11
All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be competent, equipped for every good work. 2 Timothy 3:16-17
How is God transforming you? Are you growing in your faith? Is your relationship with the Lord strong and vibrant? If so, great! Keep focusing on your faith. If not, don’t beat yourself up. Seek the Lord. You will find Him.
In closing, I have a task for you. I want to challenge you to write your own poem with a slight modification.
There once was an educator named _____________ who…
(Put your name here.)