Master Teaching

a blog for teachers who follow the Master Teacher

All things to All

d2914-relationship(Another readers’ favorite, this one from our purpose series. May it refresh and inspire you as you finish out this week of work!)

If the Master Teacher were my boss…

My job would be about people. I wouldn’t hide away in safe relationships with people like me but would welcome the quirky, hardhearted, and even those who treat me like dirt. I’d have confidence that He purposefully assigned them to me and would watch for royally appointed encounters.

If the Master Teacher were my boss…

I’d grumble less about my employers. I wouldn’t whine about the administration that sets my courses and salary, for my treasures are in heaven. I wouldn’t call my supervisors taskmasters, for I am His slave. And I certainly wouldn’t complain about the Management. Instead, my life-giving words would shine like stars against the darkness of a bellyaching world.

I wouldn’t ridicule my students or colleagues for “be merciful to me, a sinner” would be my refrain. I wouldn’t stereotype people or make generalizations about cultures for I’ve been called from alienation to be a foreigner in this world. I’d make sure my interactions with people were gracious and seasoned and my conversations about people kind and attractive. I’d laugh with people more not because we’re making fun but because a joyful heart is good medicine for life’s ills. Delightful and enlightened would be the words of my mouth, turning ashes into beauty and blessing.

If the Master Teacher were my boss…

I’d love my students more. Given what I know about the Boss, I think He’d expect that. Like the Father, I’d give them fish and not a snake, or I’d teach them how to fish. Like the King, I’d manage the kingdom of my classroom with a fitting blend of justice and mercy. Like the Lord who became flesh, I’d wash their stinky feet. Like the High Priest, I’d “present their cases” before the throne, giving “the Holy Spirit a chance to intercede for them.”[1] Like the Friend of sinners, I’d lay down my life for theirs.

I’d be kinder to my colleagues. I’d judge them less for their different choices, behaviors, cultural and personal idiosyncrasies, and empathize more. I’d give more but also receive, listening and learning from their experiences. I’d look for timely moments to illuminate my hope, boldly but with gentle respect.

I’d appreciate my leaders more. I’d learn whatever I could about their societal or cultural backgrounds in order to treat them appropriately. When I disagreed, I’d share my opinions without quarreling and submit to their authority, helping them bear the burdens of leadership. I’d make allowances for their faults and if necessary, patiently endure unfair circumstances of their making, suffering like and for the Boss.

If the Master Teacher were my boss…

I’d work for the prosperity of my school and the peace of the surrounding society. I’d get rid of my “god-complexes,” the “subtle and unconscious sense of superiority” that causes me to think I’ve been “anointed to decide what is best” for those I deem inferior. I’d recognize that I’m as broken as the people around me and focus less on how to fix them and more on how we could “walk together, asking God to fix both of us.”[2]

I’d become all things to all people. I’d do whatever necessary to become a teacher to my students, a friend to my colleagues, a professional in my school, and an advocate in my community. My teaching would be a lot less about me and more about helping my students, encouraging my colleagues, pleasing my school, serving my community, and bringing honor to the Name.

If the Master Teacher were my boss…

“The Master you are serving is Christ.”[3]

[1]Oswald Chambers (1989), If You Will Ask, Discovery House Publishers.
[2]Steve Corbett & Brian Fikkert (2009), When Helping Hurts, Moody.
[3]Colossians 3:24, New Living Translation.

Further exploration

  • Philippians 2:14-18; Colossians 4:2-6
  • 1 Peter 2-4
  • 1 Corinthians 9:19-23

What’s your perspective?

  • If the Master Teacher were your boss, what would you do differently?
  • How do you become all things to all people in your school and community?

Post Author

Melissa K. Smith

Photo Credit: jimforest via Compfight cc

10 comments on “All things to All

  1. Anonymous
    August 10, 2014

    I really loved this piece! I may use it for our faculty orientation


  2. Melissa K. Smith
    August 10, 2014

    If you do choose to use it…I've asked the Master Teacher to use it for good and glory.


  3. Anonymous
    August 15, 2014

    Amen! So glad to “hear” your voice echoing His. You are missed. Stephany M


  4. Melissa K. Smith
    August 16, 2014

    Thank you, Stephany. You're welcome to visit anytime. 🙂


  5. Jill Schafhauser
    August 21, 2014

    WoW! I love this and it was just what I needed to hear after a rough day with some stinky feet. 🙂 Grateful to Him and His perfect timing!


  6. Melissa K. Smith
    August 21, 2014

    Jill, I'm so glad this was encouraging and at the perfect time. Thankful to the Master Teacher for working that out. 🙂 And I'm thankful too that you are there to wash those stinky feet. They need you…loving them for the Master.


  7. Ken Smith
    April 23, 2015

    Your sister Angela once called something I wrote “a conscience-smiter.” And that is what I would call this piece of yours.


    • Melissa
      April 24, 2015

      Well, I hope it smote in a positive way. 🙂 I get to myself sometimes with my writing. “I’d judge my colleagues less.” is probably the part I need to work on most right now.


  8. Cheryl
    April 29, 2015

    Melissa, I loved this post! It would do me good to look at it every day before I leave my home, get on a crowded bus, step in to my classroom or any office on campus. It seems you have captured what we are called to do. Now for the grace to trust Him more!


    • Melissa
      April 29, 2015

      “Tis so sweet to trust in…O for grace to trust Him more.” Thanks, Cheryl, for the perfect song to begin the close of my day with…while bringing you and your desert home before the throne. 😊


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This entry was posted on April 22, 2015 by in Melissa K. Smith, purpose, readers' choice, teaching as relationships.



Photo Credit: Eric Fischer via Compfight cc
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