Your grandma, your English teacher, your next-door neighbour from all those years ago... All of us know someone who influenced or impacted on our lives for the better.
Today is about acknowledging their generosity, and returning the favour.
Let each one of us make it a practice to please (make happy) his neighbour for his good
and for his true welfare, to edify him (to strengthen him and build him up spiritually).
(Romans 15:2 AMPC)
It would be hard for me to get across how persistently problematic I was as a child to those who were responsible for my development in life. Since having my own kids, I have discovered a new level of respect for my parents, but I have to admit my teachers had a lot to put up with too. I’m sure many of them must have wondered what they’d done to deserve a John Keskeys in their class and even questioned their vocation. I had that incredible ability to hijack each class, much to the dismay of my teachers. In my drive to squeeze all the fun I could out of each day, I simply did not understand the word ‘consequences’. This was my school life and the root of my teachers’ daily vexation until I left – never to return – or so I thought.
I became a Christian at 15 after an encounter with God, and after doing a lot of other reconstructive work in me God eventually revealed his agenda for me and the teachers I’d tormented for so many years.
‘I want you to go back to visit all of your teachers and say sorry for the way you treated them.’ Oh dear. I could feel the sense of embarrassment already at the thought of going back to my primary school aged 17.
I remember Mrs Badger’s face when I walked through the door of the headmistress’s office. I have tears in my eyes as I recall the moment she looked up and without introduction she said, ‘Hello John.’ I hadn’t seen her in 10 years.
The five minutes in her office ‘repenting’ went some way to repairing the damage I’d caused. Much more than that, my words told a bigger story – that the huge investment of time and effort she’d made in me had eventually paid off, even if it had taken a decade to get there. It felt more like obedience than generosity but Mrs Badger graciously received the ‘thank you’ wrapped up in a big sorry.
Make today an opportunity to acknowledge the generosity of those who have spent themselves investing in us.
Today's blog was written by John Keskeys from Stewardship.