As we come near the end of Paul’s letter to the Galatians, he begins to give some short exhortations. I find this next one to be of particular importance.
Anyone who receives instruction in the word must share all good things with his instructor.
I’m obviously partial to this one because I’m an instructor in the Word of God. Many times teachers never find out the effects that they have on someone’s life.
That’s because teaching is a cumulative process. Changes in those being instructed don’t happen overnight. Each new concept received, brings a tiny step forward.
Over time, these little pieces add up to a life that’s been brought to a new place in Christ. That’s why we need to periodically take stock of where we are in our Christian walk. Then, when we see where we are in our progress, we take note of where we learned these things from.
This verse tells us to communicate the good things we see in our lives with the ones who instructed us. In that way, the teachers will be encouraged that their work was not in vain.
I remember my Sunday School teachers from when I was young. One of them, Brother Jerry Citro, had a great impact upon my life.
I had just “graduated” into the Junior High Boys’ class. We were a group known for always clowning around. But Bro. Jerry loved us and worked with us.
One Sunday morning, he made an announcement to the class. He told us that for the next few weeks, he wouldn’t be teaching us. Instead, we would each take a turn teaching to our peers. It should go without saying that this got quite a negative reaction from the class, but that’s the way it would be.
For the next few weeks, the class was pretty boring, to say the least. The students either didn’t remember that it was their turn, or didn’t care. I remember sitting in class listening to students reading the workbook to us.
Then it came to my turn. I made a decision that I didn’t want to look foolish by not preparing anything. So at some point during the week I read the lesson and wrote down some notes. I also prayed for God’s help, since I had never done anything like this before.
That’s when it happened. I got up in front of the class to teach. My stomach was in knots. But at least I had prepared something.
I don’t remember anything I said or taught that day. I do remember that Bro. Jerry had a big smile as he thanked me for teaching at the end of the class. I also remember that a couple of my friends came to me afterward and told me how much they enjoyed my talk.
As I look back on this experience, I realize it was that day when I first had the thought that maybe God wants me to teach. If Bro Jerry had not made us participate, would I even have made it to where I am today?
Brother Jerry has since gone on to his reward in Heaven. I have no doubt that he heard the Lord say, “Well done, good and faithful servant.”
But there’s something that brings me joy in all of this. That’s the fact that on more than one occasion, I was able to communicate to him just how big a role he played in my ministry. Every life I affected with the Word of God can be traced back to his faithfulness.
We need to be aware of the “Brother Jerry’s” in our lives. I’ve had many more teachers that changed my life. All of them should be thanked and made to understand their effect on us. Don’t neglect this vital part of receiving God’s Word.
Question: Who are the teachers that have affected your life the most?
© Nick Zaccardi 2017