Teach…If You Want To Make a Difference

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If you have a sense of mission it will be the driving force in your life. It will take you through the difficult and discouraging times. Apostle Paul had a sense of mission before he met Jesus. After meeting Him that day on the Damascus road his mission changed. Just as the mission to purge the land of Christianity was the driving force before, now the cause of Christ drove him. “For to me to live is Christ and to die is gain” (Philippians 1:21). David asked his cowardly brothers, “Is there not a cause?” A cause will give you a reason for which to live, and a reason for which to die.

By David Reynolds

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“And of some have compassion, making a difference” (Jude 22).

Introduction:

“Far better is it to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs even though checkered by failure, than to rank with the poor spirits who neither enjoy much nor suffer much, because they live in the gray twilight that knows neither victory nor defeat.”

-Teddy Roosevelt

In many of my seminars I ask the question, “How many of you can name the one teacher who made a difference in your life?” Hands go up all over the place for they still remember the name of that special teacher. They had many teachers, but it is only a few who made a difference. It is interesting, that it is not for what they taught they are remembered. Rather it is because that teacher touched them personally. Research has shown that if an ‘at risk’ child has even one such teacher in his life for only one year, it may be enough to save him from failure. You can be that special teacher that makes the difference for that child.

I have had a secret fear down through the years, that I would live my life and never make a difference. I well remember driving twenty five hundred miles to visit my father in Brockville, Ontario, Canada. After being there for a couple of days, my dad asked if I would serve as a pallbearer for a lady who had just died. He had been asked funeral. However, the number in the crowd is not what is important what is done for the kingdom of God is.

During the time I spent as an elementary school principal I noticed cracks in the superstructure of our society. More and more children were hurting and many were slipping through the cracks. For every problem in society our well-meaning legislators created an educational band-aid. We came up with ‘Smoke Free 2000,”Say No to Drugs,’ Law Related Education,’ and ‘Sex Education’ along with ‘use a condom’ solutions. We developed programs for `Sex Abuse,” Citizenship,” Multicultural Education,’ along with ‘Free Lunch and Breakfast’ programs. Each year we added more vice principals, councilors, social workers, special education classes, English as second language specialist and campus security guards. With all this the problems increase.

I cried along with Jeremiah, “Is there no balm in Gilead: is there no physician there? Why then is not the health of the daughters of my people recovered” (Jeremiah 8:22). I slowly realized that our educational system was not working. I was not making a difference. I cared, I was dedicated, but I came to realize we were putting social band-aids on spiritual wounds. We were treating the symptoms and not curing the illness. It was then that I decided to take an early retirement and to work for the rest of my life as a teacher for Christ, for I knew in so doing I could make a difference. I knew I was in the will of God. I had to learn to die to ambition and security in order that I might live and make a difference.

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