Building Others Up

Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. (Ephesians  4:29 NIV)
Ralphie from "A Christmas Story" washing his mouth out with soap. One of my all-time favorite movies. 



The above verse that Paul wrote is something I need to work on when assisting behavioral issues with some of my students. I'm not always going to see eye-to-eye with my students on their behavioral issues. We might come from way different backgrounds. Yes, I understand that I set the expectations for my classroom and I will uphold them, but I tend to lose my temper when the behavior of one student affects all other 31 in the class. The other 31 are trying to learn. The other 31 want to be in the classroom. The other 31 are respectful. The other 31 work hard. The other 31 are a joy to teach. The other 31 have it figured out. So, after I was having some intense fellowship with a student today because his attitude, actions, and work habits were affecting the rest of class, something clicked with me. Of course a student needs to be reeled back in from time to time and this student today was getting on everyone's last nerve. So, I pulled him away from the rest of class and gave him a "talking to." Was it needed? I believe so. Could I have handled it a bit differently? Probably. I started to think of Jesus' examples of love and compassion. 

The prostitute. The leper. The paralyzed. The unclean. The demon-possessed. The tax collectors. The sinners. The drunkards. The criminal next to him on the cross. The blind. The poor. The diseased. The dead who he raised. The sick. The lost. The adulteress. The deaf. 

All these people have something in common: they are not perfect. They are far from perfect, but the thing is, Jesus loved/loves the unlovable. This leads me to this - "On hearing this, Jesus said to them, 'It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.'" (Mark 2:17 NIV) The ones that need my love are the ones that don't receive it from a regular source. I might be the only person who has ever told them that I care about them. These students are the ones who crave attention. Who no one likes. Who don't have friends. Who are in the middle of all the drama. Who are annoying. Who others tattle on everyday. Who don't do their homework because no one has ever taught them that they reap what they sow. These are the students that Jesus would have helped.

 To love. That's what we are called to do. To lift up. To encourage. To love. Again, may the words of Paul suggest to you - "Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen." (Ephesians  4:29 NIV)




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