Some people question whether or not Christian Education works, whether its worth all those hours they put into preparing lessons, presenting studies, listening to feedback from students, reaching out to embrace said students, and putting their own life on hold long enough to meet the needs of kids and adults who God has put in their path to assist. I say, yes!
Christian Education does work, and I’ll tell you why. After years of attending VBS, Sunday School, worship services, seminars, workshops, and immersing myself in the reading of good Christian literature, I can attest to the fact that I have been molded and shaped in both conscious and unconscious ways. Because of this training, I have learned to include God in my thinking and incorporate the guidance of his Holy Spirit in the work I am given to do each day. In fact, the instruction that I have received from Jesus has shaped me in ways I would never have imagined it could. I now recognize His voice and His presence in areas of my life that I once mistakenly imagined to be mine alone.
Don’t get me wrong. Jesus has not snuck into my life, planted a seed of distrust for all things secular in my head, and then taken over my personality so that I am nothing but a drone most days. My Jesus is not like that. He is a perfect gentleman, never pushy, and never insistent in the way humanity insists. He always welcomes me to spend time with him, invites me to share in his party fare, pulls out the table for me at his banquet, and opens his wallet to me when I have a genuine need, and sometimes when the need is frivolous. I have no complaints about how I have been treated in the kingdom of God. None. I might complain about the gate keepers and doormen in the kingdom sometimes, but I never have a complaint to file about my King. He has given me more than I ever deserved, and given me the opportunity to do more and be more than I could ever have done or been without Him in my life. I have nothing but good to say about my Lord, for He has been nothing but a loving Savior and friend to me, which is why I feel duty bound to Him.
I share this today, to say that recently I wrote a post that in hindsight has bothered me. I wanted to write that it had haunted me, but that kind of phraseology would probably just be me being more dramatic than necessary. Parts of that post did bother me, however, and in reflecting on those parts I felt the Holy Ghost nudging me–urging me to consider what I’d written and take a second look at how it read. Maybe I should consider a rewrite. The post was written in a moment of frustration, which I think was probably pretty obvious to my readers, and it was written with a slant toward levity. I have wanted for years to be able to write humor, but turns out humor writing is not an easy thing. Being funny without being crude, rude, sarcastic, or cutting is not easy. Not easy! Sarcasm and an acerbic humor are two things that come pretty naturally to me, but I have never felt “good” about using them against others–especially in my writing. I have readers who take personally the things I pen, and hopefully what I write is helpful for them and healing for me. That is my aim, anyway.
Since I see sarcasm and cutty humor as less than funny when it’s used on me, I don’t want to incorporate it in what I use to communicate with others. It’s just too easy to fall into the habit of using it to make a point, and I don’t want to be that person. Some people make a living using these kinds of skills in their writing, but again, that is for them to do, not me. I have been given another path to walk, and I have to remember to stay on that path, or be reminded by the Holy Spirit when I have veered away.
This week, the Spirit had a lot to say to me. I listened and tried to rationally evaluate what I heard. When I felt troubled, I asked myself, “Is this me speaking, or is it God? Is this desire for a rewrite a people-pleasing behavior that wants to take the reins, or am I feeling the pull of the other side of the yoke I willingly put my neck into the day I asked Jesus to share my burdens? Am I responding to a nudge in the right direction that is God-inspired, or am I hoping to placate others by altering what I previously penned?” These are the notions I struggle with when I write…these are the questions I contend with in my faith. Maybe everyone does, I don’t know, but I do and I will honestly admit that the answers don’t always come easily to me. What I have learned over the years is, when in doubt, don’t. It has served me well. Sometimes I still “do” when I shouldn’t, but when I do I back track, apologize, clean up the mess I made as best I can, and start again with a better understanding of myself than I had before.
Today, I have a better understanding of myself than I had before, and I have Jesus to thank for that. So yes, Christian Education does work. Holy Spirit leading does work. Trusting God to direct my life does work. Loving the Lord of my life–it always works to balance me, calm me, educate and sanctify me.
If you spend hours working up lessons, reading the Bible, researching Scripture, planning Christian events, opening your heart to the Holy Spirit, and serving in ministry whenever and wherever the Lord allows, know–YOU are making a difference. You’ve helped to make me a better person. Thank you for your service to the kingdom of God!