A Word to Christian Teachers

You are overpaid.

The only reason why you are a teacher is because you wanted summers off.

Those who can, do. Those who can’t, teach.

You’ve heard all of that. You know that it’s wrong. But ignorance never stops some people from sharing their opinion, even when that ignorance is embarrassingly on display for all of the world to see. Like when a guy goes on a Facebook rant telling us that, “Teachers need to mind they’re on bisiness,,,,,,”

Apparently, his did.

But you don’t. As you see it, the kids in your classroom are your business. And business is tough these days. But you press on. That’s because you are more than a teacher.

You are a missionary.

Missionaries go to places that the rest of us don’t. They work their way into cultures that some of us like to pretend don’t exist. And, to the best of their abilities, they try to leave that culture better than when they found it. All for the glory of God.

Read the words of Jesus Christ.

“You are the salt of the earth, but if salt has lost its taste, how shall its saltiness be restored? It is no longer good for anything except to be thrown out and trampled under people’s feet. You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.” Matthew 5:13-16 (ESV)

Jesus mentioned salt because of its preservation qualities. In the days before your LG refrigerator, salt is what kept meat from going bad. It prevented decay. Jesus’ point is direct. The world is decaying.

Teacher, you know this perhaps more than anyone.

If you teach at a public school, even a really good one with a great principal and school board, you are still in a broken system. There are some politicians and bureaucrats in authority over you who know more about manipulating the system for personal gain than they do teaching. As a result, they make foolish decisions that negatively impact you, your students and millions more. Each year you attend endless meetings about some new curriculum that you are told will be much better than last year’s curriculum. But you know that the state will change it all again next year. It always does.

Still, you press on.

In a system that is decaying because of corruption and government bureaucracy, you are the salt that Jesus spoke of. In your own little way, you are slowing the decay, maybe not for the entire country but certainly in your classroom.

There is another implication in Jesus’ words when he says that, “You are the light of the world.” The world is dark. It could use some light.

Teacher, again, you know this perhaps more than anyone.

Jay Sanders
Jay Sanders is a husband and the father of two boys. He is currently serving as the pastor of Towaliga Baptist Church in Jackson, Georgia and is a 2009 graduate of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky. You can find him blogging at JasonLSanders.com.

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