It was the end of another full day of school, and I was doing my normal self-evaluation on the drive home. It’s like taking attendance, except my question is “Are you okay?” instead of “Are you here?” I see each student and replay and critique each conversation. Did I hurt any feelings? Say or do anything harmful? Anything that needs repair work tomorrow?
Yesterday was tough, because I executed a glorious monologue to a student about something I wanted him to do in the future. Five minutes later he did just what I had asked, and I lost patience with him.
I could recover, you know, except he was only one student in one moment of my day. I interacted with 30 students. Several staff members. One mother-in-law. One aunt. A husband. My nephew and his friend. My brother-in-law and his family. So many people, with exponential opportunities to get things wrong.
More than one person –more than one fail. At the end of many days, I feel like I need a relational medic. (This is why teachers need summer, by the way.)
On the way home from school, I was thinking about Jesus and how for three years he was surrounded by crowds of people. He was teaching and healing and confronting. But at the end of the day, he never laid in bed feeling anxious. No matter how complex his conversations or encounters were, he never messed them up.
Peter describes Jesus as “a lamb without blemish or defect.” (1 Peter 1:19 NIV) That means every time Jesus talked to someone, his side of things was always perfect. No regrets. No getting to the end of the day and thinking, “Oh man, I wish I hadn’t said that.” I feel a jealous of him.
As I talked with the Lord on the way home, he reminded me his Spirit is inside of me, encouraging and empowering me. That same discernment and self-control in the moment is available to me in all of my interactions. But this is hard for me, a sinner.
I think I’m writing this note today to all of the other teachers and moms and anyone who rubs shoulders with people all day –especially if you’re actually in charge of those people. This is hard work, and even more so if we really care about these people and we’re trying to influence them for good.
Yet we are weak.
I’m not writing because I’m shining in victory and am leading the charge but because I know what it’s like to try and fail and try and fail, but I keep coming back to Jesus when I get into a quiet place.
Asking for help. Asking on this fresh morning for him to bless others through my words and actions today, please. Asking for new mercy because I know I’m going to need it. Asking for him to make me a little more unblemished in my relationships than I was yesterday.
This is my prayer for you, too. May Jesus help you do good with your people today.