GIVE CAREFUL THOUGHT TO YOUR WAYS
September 10, 2020
Prayer: Heavenly Father, We come to You for Your wisdom. We are trusting You to guide us as we influence our co-laborers and our students. Please guide in developing our character and our values to honor You in all we do. Thank You. Amen.
Scripture: Now this is what the Lord Almighty says: “Give careful thought to your ways.” Haggai 1:5 NIV
Have you ever told your students to “Put on their thinking caps?” What did you mean by that? Were you asking a particularly hard question? Did they need a little more concentration than usual to understand what you were about to teach them? Were they struggling in an area that you had already explained several times and to be honest, were a little less than excited to go over again? What are some other instances that call for us to adorn our “thinking caps?”
“Put on your thinking caps” means to carefully and thoughtfully consider something. In previous centuries, it was customary for a judge to put on a cap before sentencing criminals. Because judges were respected thinkers, it was referred to as a “thinking cap.” (Gordon’s Book of Familiar phrases). I find it interesting that that the judges put the cap on before sentencing the criminal – perhaps the criminal should have “put on their thinking cap” earlier so they would not have been standing before the judge.
Today’s verse tells us to “Give careful thought to your ways.” Do you have some decisions to make right now that need careful thought? Are you trying or learning something new that requires some extra brain power? Are you facing a challenge that has you stumped, even keeping you awake at night? Are any of your current struggles based on consequences from past decisions that needed more careful thought?
Think about your students. Can you think of instances that you saw them making snap decisions that you knew they would regret? What do you see them giving careful thought to? How can you, as an educator, encourage or advise them to “Put on their thinking caps?” Do you feel that you have that option or do you feel that your hands are tied when it comes to giving “life” advice? Do you think they give careful thought to your guidance?
The good news is that research shows that they are listening, whether they show signs of even breathing or not when you are talking to them. They do hear you. In polls over the years, a teacher or staff member at a school was given credit or second to a parent as the most influential person in their life. They are not only giving careful thought to what you say to them, but they carefully listen to what you are saying to others. They are also giving careful consideration to what you do, how you do it, and why you do it. They have their thinking caps on even when we are not sure they are awake.
Our thinking caps should be an essential part of our everyday wardrobe, but if we want to be sure we make good decisions, we have to do more than “think it over.” We need to “PRAY it over.” Ask God what He thinks and follow His prompting. We can end up in serious trouble if we leap before we think, but once you have given something careful thought and prayer, and God answers, continuing to “think about it” is simply disobedience. The steps are simple: Think Pray, Listen, and Go.
My prayer for you is that you would give careful thought (& prayer) to your ways.
Copyright Kathy Branzell. Email email@example.com