My first month of being a first time professional teacher is behind me. As I look back with 20/20 hindsight I can’t think of a better place, to be a first time teacher, than Room 1501 at Joy Christian School.
It has been a blitzing kind of month. I have never been so tired in my life, and at the same time, so content and blessed.
I consider it a privilege to be able to TEACH the Word of God at Joy Christian School everyday for High School Students. I also get to PREACH the Word of God at different Churches around the country, and it is always a thrill to meet the people I get to speak to in these different churches…I’m getting ready to have a conversation with a church in PA where I hope to speak at in the near future. So, not only do I get to teach and preach, I also get to LIVE out what I preach and teach about, through leading Return Hope International! God is good. All these ventures have just begun and sometimes that means slim pickings when it comes to income, but I have learned that God provides…and sometimes…He waits until the very last minute! LOL…and that is perfectly fine with me. He is God and I am not. I will continue to do what He says and not tell Him how He should do it.
THIS WEEK IN ROOM 1501…I was reminded of something I already knew…but it was good to be reminded.
I encountered my first situation, that will probably end what can be called my Honeymoon phase as a new teacher. This past week, I encountered the reality that It’s not always gonna be fun in Room 1501. Now, I knew this was going to happen sooner or later. That is just what life eventually does to all of us. However, I still deeply grieve the fact that the honeymoon phase had to end.
The details of this ‘honeymoon’ ending incident are not important. The moral of the story is what is most important.
The 30,000 foot view of this situation is simply this. I found out, that I said something that offended a student in Rm 1501. (Knowing me, this could happen on occasion.) The student, as they should, told their parents. The parents sent an email to several people….but…not to me. There was no verification of facts…No seeking to first try to understand. Just an email blast. (I’m a big boy, I can handle these kind of situations. I’ve been in ministry for 20+ years and have slowly developed a pretty thick skin.)
I confess. My skin is not as thick as I thought it to be. I was surprised at how hurt I felt by this. I will not let the hurt grow into anger, and I am not going to allow my hurt to ripple out into sinful reactions from me. I vow to handle this situation with grace and love and patience. When these things happen, I always use them as teaching lessons in a blog or in my preaching and teaching. I have already spoken with the students in Room 1501 about the passage below. They all actually signed a card saying whether or not they would honor the teaching of Jesus below. This pic is just one card of many.
I hope this blog about the situation will also serve as a reminder to all of us…if the lesson needs to be learned.
I have set up a personal meeting with the people involved in this and I look forward to sharing, what is clearly a misunderstanding by a student and parents, and I look forward to full reconciliation and forward movement.
I want to jump right to what Jesus taught about things like this. Jesus said in Matthew 18:15-16, “If your brother or sister sins, go and point out their fault, just between the two of you. If they listen to you, you have won them over. But if they will not listen, take one or two others along, so that ‘every matter may be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses.”
If I could be so bold as to actually retranslate this passage to fit my situation, it would read like this…
“If Trent Renner sins against you, or offends you, go and point out his fault, just between the two of you…even if it’s only with an email. If Trent listens and the two of you work out this sin situation or what could be a simple misunderstanding, then you have won each other back and things can move forward. But, if Trent doesn’t listen and clear up the situation with you, then take one or two others along with you, or send an email to one or two others, so that every matter may be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses.” Matthew 18:15-16 (T.R.version):)
The command from Jesus above is very clear in how the situation could have best been handled.
I am confident that after my meeting things will be fine.
So…if I can conclude with this. If you hear about something that is taught in Room 1501/or happens at your work place/or your home… that just doesn’t seem to make any sense…then it probably didn’t actually happen…so please use the wisdom/actions that Jesus commands of us in the passage above. Any time someone offends you…please go to the person and try to make sense of it.
I look forward to fully reconciling this situation and bringing clarity to the misunderstanding. Any gossip that might be generated because of this post…is a whole other blog. Don’t be a gossip. Simply pray that we all be people who behave like Jesus. We all have conflict resolution we need to deal with. I pray this situation and this blog post are a motivator for you to live more holy and reconcile your conflicts as Jesus taught us to.
In the mean time…always SEEK FIRST TO UNDERSTAND, THEN TO BE UNDERSTOOD.
Jesus was pretty clear on how to handle situations like these. Man, He is smart! Let’s all be smart too!
The Honeymoon phase may be over…and I absolutely love Joy Christian School. Especially those who I encounter every day in Room 1501.
I am grateful for this 3 day weekend…and I can’t wait for Tuesday!