I had an unusually heavy teaching load last week. On Sunday and Tuesday, I taught Perspectives Lesson 2, The Story of God’s Glory, in two churches each about three hours from my home in Spokane. On Thursday and Saturday, I taught twelve hours of World Religions at Whitworth University. Sixteen hours of instruction and twelve hours of driving. I also graded a number of assignments, responded to questions from students, etc. So, I ended the week feeling like a real professor.
As I reflect back on the week, I realize my greatest satisfaction as an instructor comes when there is clear evidence that the students understand.
For example, there was a moment at Tuesday’s Perspectives class when one of the students looked directly at me and proclaimed, “I get it!” She went on to describe how her greatest motivation for past mission work was her own pleasure. She was motivated to help children living in poverty because she loved “kissing their dirty cheeks.” As we approached the end of class, her perspective shifted. She now realized that her greatest motivation should be to glorify God. She should first seek to know, honor, and obey God. That is our first responsibility and highest motivation. Flowing out of that comes our desire to love and serve others.
Similarly, I have enjoyed hearing several of my World Religions‘ students say that their eyes are being opened to people of other faith traditions. After interviewing a Jewish lady, a student said, “I enjoyed our time together. I felt like I gained new insights into the Jewish faith as well as my own.” In a reflection paper regarding one of the texts, another student wrote, “With this book our course has an added level of usefulness and importance because it is helping to equip us as leaders of the church and this world, so that we can be respectful of other’s cultures, while still communicating effectively.”
I am grateful for the opportunity to teach and for the privilege of seeing my efforts bring growth in other people’s lives. May this be to God’s glory!