A friend on facebook asked teachers to share what they really want for Teacher Appreciation Week. I was tempted to write—MUGS! Lots and lots of teacher-themed mugs.

You’ll be happy to know, I didn’t act on this impulse. 

By now, if you’re a teacher in a school that celebrates Teacher Appreciation Week, you may have new teacher mug, fresh flowers on your desk, and a wallet budging with gift cards. Or—not. 

You may, instead, have another email from an upset parent. Sometimes it’s hard to believe anyone has a clue how hard you work and how exhausted you are.

Wherever this finds you, the Bible passage that came in my church devotional app today is fitting. 

“And now, friends, we ask you to honor those leaders who work so hard for you, who have been given the responsibility of urging and guiding you along in your obedience. Overwhelm them with appreciation and love!” (from 1 Thessalonians 5, The Message)

Overwhelmed with appreciation and love? You may instead feel overwhelmed by all the work to be done before final grades are due.

Right after the Apostle Paul admonishes his friends to honor leaders, he continues with this-

  • Get along among yourselves, each of you doing your part.
  • Warn the freeloaders to get a move on. 
  • Gently encourage the stragglers.
  • Reach out for the exhausted, pulling them to their feet. 
  • Be patient with each person, attentive to individual needs. 
  • Be careful that when you get on each other’s nerves you don’t snap at each other. 
  • Look for the best in each other, and always do your best to bring it out.

Consider this a formative assessment. Check all that apply. 

_____ Starting to slack off? 

He knows. He’s encouraging you to do your part and get a move on.

_____ Struggling to keep up? 

Listen for His gentle encouragement. He’s cheering you on!

_____ Exhausted? 

He has all the energy needed to pull you to your feet and keep you moving.

_____ Needy? 

He is patient with you. He is paying full attention to your needs.

_____ Down to your last nerve? 

He knows. He will forgive if you have snapped.

He will give you grace to ask forgiveness of those you snapped at. 

He’s not snapping at you. 

_____ Seeing the worst in others and wondering if they are seeing the worst in you?

God sees you as you really are—perfect and complete in Christ Jesus. 

He can give you grace to see the best in others. 

Whether or not anyone is showering gratitude on you today, if you are loving your kids for Jesus sake, God sees and knows. 

“Throw yourselves into the work of the Master, confident that nothing you do for him is a waste of time or effort” (from 1 Corinthians 15, The Message). 

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