An Apple For the Teacher…
I just returned from the Chicago area after having taught a class of healthcare providers for the past several days. In fact, I was at a hospital working with one of their larger practice groups and have been reflecting on how many people and groups I have had the pleasure of coaching for the past decade or so. I am teaching far less often than I used to as I wind down my career, but I enjoy getting back in the saddle from time to time and keeping my skills sharp. Furthermore, I get to work, for the first time in our careers, with my brother, doug, who leads the team I am now coaching.
I derive great pleasure from seeing teams accelerate their growth, as well as watching people evolve in their leadership abilities – I never seem to get tired of seeing people and teams excel. I also enjoy the accolades that come from people who appreciate the progress they are making and I have been able to work with teams for years as they grow into high performance teams from a collection of individuals who don’t really understand all that a team can be.
I have also found it interesting to note that sometimes people tend to forget the effort that people have invested in them. Every once in a while you run into someone who seems grateful for help at the time and as they advance, they conveniently forget their roots and where they came from. I guess it is all part of the process and the Bible is quite clear that we are to serve others without necessarily expecting something in return. However, there seems to be an exception for pastors and teachers.
In the Old Testament, the Levites (the spiritual leaders) received a tithe from the other tribes. The Levites didn’t receive an inheritance of land like the other tribes, but the Law was quite clear that they were to be provided for. Paul, in a number of his letters in the New Testament, affirms that those who teach us are due a portion and their physical and financial needs are to be taken care of.
Oddly, Paul never felt compelled to ask for these things for himself, but he was quick to point out the necessity of providing for others as their needs were made know. Our verse for this evening highlights one of the most obscure verses in the Scripture on this topic. In fact, it kind of comes out of nowhere and even Bible commentators find the verse a somewhat abrupt shift from Paul’s thoughts in the prior paragraph of his letter to the church at Galatia.
It is clear that Paul was not asking for help for himself, but he wrote, in Galatians 6:6, “Anyone who receives instruction in the word must share all good things with his instructor.” In other words, remember who taught you and don’t forget a debt of gratitude to them. My encouragement this evening is that God wants us to invest time in learning about Him as well as entering into a deeper relationship with Him. My prayer is that you will take a moment and recall those people in your life, maybe even starting with your parents, who took time to teach you about God. After all, a relationship with Jesus is the greatest thing you can ever have, in conjunction with eternal life, and that is something worth learning about and experiencing. Have a great day in the Lord, grace and peace…