He is Your Boss
Ephesians 6:7 says to work with enthusiasm, as though working for the Lord. When Paul wrote this letter, he wrote this part for slaves and refers to how they should work for their masters. I know it’s dramatic to say this, but don’t we teachers sometimes feel enslaved during the school year? Slaves to grading papers? Slaves to never-ending lesson plans with no time during the work day to get them done? Slaves to the demands of our students, our principals, our school board?
No, we are not enslaved. We get paid and we are in our classrooms willingly (most days). But there are certain times of every school year overworked and underpaid, overstressed and under rested, overwhelmed and under respected. It is easy to complain, even “mail it in” some days. We’ve all worked with people who have checked out and probably most of us have at some point. I’ll admit that I have. Whatever the circumstances, it is easy to just go through the motions sometimes.
As Christian employees, Ephesians 6:7 calls us to put our heads down and work (unless you are solely responsible for the students in your classroom, then you should work with your head up). And we are called to do so enthusiastically! This isn’t just difficult for teachers, but for most workers in most jobs.
Some of the unenthusiastic coworkers I hear around my building say things like:
“I don’t have to do that! It’s not in my contract!”
“I’m not bending over backwards for that disrespectful kid!”
“I don’t have time to call her parents every time she gets a bad grade. Are they crazy!?”
“I’m not gonna get stuck picking up my teaching partner’s slack again. If he messes up, that’s his problem, not mine!”
“I really should use this time to catch up on my lesson plans, but I’m just too lazy to get anything done right now…”
Those quotes are not enthusiastic because they are assigning the purpose of their tasks to people. They are choosing not to do the work for their administrators, students, students’ parents, coworkers, and even themselves! But since we are called on to work for the Lord, than it is God who the job won’t get done for. God put you where you are for His purpose, so you should do everything that goes along with your job with that in mind.
You never know how your current boss could further your career. If you get a job with more responsibility and influence, it furthers His kingdom.
If you help out a student who is not expecting it, you never know what he or she will end up doing for you. It may just change the dynamic of your whole class for the better.
You never know what good can come out of yet another call home. Maybe mom will finally realize how much you care and start caring about her son’s school work herself. Extra support at home can go a long way.
How about doing a favor for a coworker that nobody asked you to do? Maybe they’ll start wondering what makes you different and ask you about your faith. If not the first time or the second, maybe the 28th or 29th?
Finally, do yourself a favor and write your lesson plans for next week when you have the time! Sure, you may feel lazy, but it could free up some time the following weekend with the family.
Working enthusiastically for God would in turn make you more enthusiastic about your work. It will help you see your purpose in His kingdom. You’ll be less exhausted because your work will have meaning. Try it! Once you start, you’ll never stop.
Steps toward a Christ-Like Classroom:
- Take on the tough tasks.
- Seek out the jobs that need to be done.
- Work as if working for the Lord.