I hated the phrase “Back to School” as a child. I mean REALLY hated it.
As families scramble this week to get back into the school routine, I’m reminded of those feelings. Fortunately, I have the maturity now to look back and realize why.
A teacher’s role is actually much different than I treated it as a kid.
They view themselves as instructors and mentors…I treated them like babysitters and prison guards. (I think I just heard a chorus of “Amens” from my childhood teachers who are reading this.)
Want proof that God has a sense of humor?? I married a Math Teacher.
How does this disparity between a teacher’s actual role and how kids perceive them parallel to the role of the Holy Spirit IN us and how we treat Him?
The bible tells us the Holy Spirit is literally placed IN us to instruct us (Nehemiah 9:20). Much like a newly minted teacher entering their first job, the Holy Spirit IN us is eager to teach us and develop us.
These lessons are sometimes painful and difficult to learn. The end result however, is well worth the effort: a closer relationship with the Father.
Letting go of ourselves so that God can work through us can sometimes be a lot like a first grader having to put away their toy after recess.
Because of this, we often relegate the Holy Spirit to the role of babysitter instead of teacher. We force Him to spend inordinate amounts of time saying “Put your toys away (material possessions/sin)….Stop jumping on the couch (bad habits/hobbies/sin)…Stop pulling little Suzy’s hair (judgment/hurtful words and actions/sin)”.
All of this takes away time that could be spent digging into the lesson plan and learning so we can promote to the next “grade” of spiritual maturity.
As you begin seeing the school bus return to the neighborhood and the traffic guard manning the school zone crosswalk again, let it remind you that the Holy Spirit is WAY overqualified for the role of babysitter in our lives. Put away childish things (1COR 13:11) and tell the Holy Spirit you’re ready to get away from the preschool and get into the curriculum!
What “toys” and habits do you need to put away to allow the Holy Spirit to stop babysitting and start teaching in your life?