When I taught Jr. High students I told the students that I would not allow them to be mean to each other. I wanted our classroom to be a safe place. This also included the way that I would treat them. I wanted to treat them with respect. A great plan in theory, but I didn't always get it right.
One afternoon we were all sitting in a circle playing an interactive review game. Everyone was having a good time until someone gave the wrong answer. Immediately a young lady stood up and began to laugh and mock the student who messed up. I quickly spoke up and she immediately stopped talking BUT I didn't. In front of everyone I proceeded to tell her how wrong she was. With each passing moment her shoulders slumped lower and by the time I was through you could hear a pin drop. I had stopped her from hurting another student! We finished the game but this scene was not over.
Later that evening the Holy Spirit was the one speaking to me! "So how was your day? Is there anything that you think you should have done differently? " I began to review the events of the day and the review game debacle caused me to wince. I had stopped the young lady from mocking someone but in the process I had hurt her . She expected certain behavior, responses, correction, and coaching from me. By the body language etched in my mind I had done damage. Now the fun part... Apologizing!
The next morning as I was walking across the playground to the classroom. Guess who was the first person to come and give me a hug? The thought that everything was "cool" and I didn't need to say anything did cross my mind. However, I thought not, and asked her if I could talk to her privately. I told her that laughing at someone when they make a mistake was wrong BUT how I handled the situation was also wrong. I told her that I was so sorry and asked her forgiveness. "Sure Miss Kenyon. I knew you were going to say that. "
Junior high students are quick to forgive. I discovered that to be true on more than one occasion. God used them to teach me not to be afraid to admit my sin. I experienced love and understanding every time! Even though they didn't miss much, held me to a high standard, and challenged me, I felt their love. God knew that I needed them in my life to demonstrate how I need to respond to others and to teach me to be real.
Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and produces wonderful results. James 5:16
I Timothy 4:12 by Seeds Family Worship