It’s that crazy time of year in a teacher’s life. Next week is the last week of school. We’re hectically trying to tie up all the loose ends of this school year: assessments, report cards, transitions, and saying good-bye to teachers and students who are leaving us. At the same time, we’ve jumped focus to next year and are planning how we can do a better job. To do this we need to reflect on what has worked well and what has not worked so well.
In a teacher’s life this is our New Year’s time. Out with the old and in with the new. It’s a time for resolutions and reflections. When you’ve been teaching for a while you don’t think of last year being 2010, you think of it as 2010-2011. 🙂
It is also that time of year when I reflect on my spiritual life. And I want to try and do it without beating myself up or feeling guilty for my many failures. I need to keep an equal focus on my sin and God’s grace. Yes, I avoid overt sins like adultery and murder, but what about those sneaky sins? What about difficulties in my prayer life? What about judging others? We started talking about the gospel on Saturday–how it is a bad news/good news story.
The best preparation for the study of this doctrine [that is, of the truth of the gospel] is–neither great intellectual ability nor much scholastic learning–but a conscience impressed with a sense of our actual condition as sinners in the sight of God. ~ Jerry Bridges The Gospel for Real Life
I’m not suggesting that we go around beating our ownselves up, but we can’t understand the greatness of the gospel and of what Jesus Christ sacrificed for us if we do not have a healthy view of our sinfulness.
Last night, Mike and I had dinner with a friend who met with us to tell us that she’d lied to us. She kept circling around to the same place in her conversation, “I know what I’ve done was wrong.” That’s a good place to be. It is the place where God’s grace gets heaped upon us.
For it is by free grace (God’s unmerited favor) that you are saved (delivered from judgment and made partakers of Christ’s salvation) through [your] faith. And this [salvation] is not of yourselves [of your own doing, it came not through your own striving], but it is the gift of God; Not because of works [not the fulfillment of the Law’s demands], lest any man should boast. [It is not the result of what anyone can possibly do, so no one can pride himself in it or take glory to himself.] Ephesians 2:8-9 Ampl.