Students make great teachers.
Watching students often enables me to make connections between real life and specific Scriptures I am pondering. Today was such a time. In Sunday School we studied the section in James that contrasts earthly wisdom with heavenly wisdom. When we were asked to define heavenly wisdom, I immediately thought of several students who so beautifully exemplified how heavenly wisdom looks and acts. Since one picture is worth a thousand words and these stories give clear pictures of godly wisdom in action, I think they are worth sharing.
For a couple weeks, I had felt an uncomfortable niggling in the back of my mind. I was semi-conscious of something in the classroom atmosphere not being quite right, yet I didn’t have a name for it and thus didn’t know to begin addressing it. When, through a parents’ prompting, it became clear that indeed there was substance behind that niggling, I approached several boys about the matter. As we sat together in a small circle in the back of the room, I begin to ask questions. I had barely started talking before I noted ready acknowledgment in their eyes. Yes, they knew what I was referring to. One boy’s eyes misted over. They all listened with wide-open hearts. When I asked if others were involved in the same disrespectful speech, they promptly and unitedly replied, “Yes, but it is mostly us!” With that kind of transparency, we easily came up with a plan on how to practice new habits along with an accountability system, and then the brief confrontation was finished. I walked away thinking, “This is the heavenly wisdom James speaks of—it is easily entreated.”
A few days later, another student came to me quietly reporting a conflict she had been experiencing with a classmate. A few minutes later, the three of us met in private and the girl very respectfully, and yet directly, told her classmate what distressed her about their interactions. Rather than accuse, she dared to make herself vulnerable. This opened the way for transparency and honest talk. It was beautiful. They wanted to finish the interaction alone, so I quietly stepped out and let the Shepherd of our hearts bring further healing. When they rejoined the group a few minutes later, both their smiling faces and their body language clearly told me He had lead the way and they had followed. This too was heavenly wisdom in action.
I watch my students and learn many important life lessons.