Be Patient with Them All
By Kylee Wray Mitchell
“…aspire to live quietly, and to mind your own affairs, and to work with your hands…” 1 Thessalonians 4:11
Since school started back, I feel surrounded at work by a cloud of negativity. A place that used to feel like my refuge now feels like navigating a minefield. You never know when someone is going to go off.
It’s the stress of the situation. My entire school is teaching online students while simultaneously being present with our students in the classroom.
We are spread way too thin, and it’s a breeding ground for complaints.
“This is too much for us.”
“This is pointless.”
“Why can’t I just do my job the way I think is best?”
It’s not a whole lot of “living quietly” and “minding our own affairs” as Paul encourages in 1 Thessalonians.
Except, for believers, it CAN be. In the midst of all that’s wrong, Christian teachers can point to what is right. We can testify that there is another way.
I think we have to start like Paul, by focusing on encouraging one another.
“We ask you, brothers, to respect those who labor among you and are over you in the Lord and admonish you, and to esteem them very highly in love because of their work. Be at peace among yourselves. And we urge you, brothers, admonish the idle, encourage the fainthearted, help the weak, be patient with them all” (1 Thessalonians 5:12-14).
While everyone and everything around us feels like it is falling apart, find your Christian colleagues and hold on tight. Be a model of brotherly love. Be a light. Be a force for all that the goodness of God is.
Show respect to your administrators. Despite the urge to push back against everything we are being asked to do, let’s try making the best of what we are given and being flexible.
Let’s avoid the negativity trap among our fellow believers (and, really, with all of our colleagues). Be at peace within yourself, and choose peace over understanding because God’s peace surpasses it.
If you see a fellow believer being pulled into worldly battles, gently guide them in a different direction. Remind them to whom they belong.
If you encounter a teacher on the brink of breaking down, be their comfort. Let the stillness of God that’s in you spill out to them.
And fellow Christians or not, be patient with everyone’s emotions. Teaching right now is so hard on all teachers and students. Things change every day. Nothing is a sure thing, and there really are no right answers.
But, our God is the same yesterday, today, and forever. So, take a moment to meditate on Paul’s encouragement to new believers and start changing the atmosphere of your school for the better.
“Therefore encourage one another and build one another up…” 1 Thessalonians 5:11
My love to you all. ❤️
I am a high school English teacher in southern central Alabama. I am originally from a small town in north Alabama called Arab, but after meeting my husband in college, I never moved back. We have been married for 8 years and have 3 children—Luke, Caroline, and Lincoln. I have been teaching for 5 years now, and it is one of the greatest joys in my life.