8TH GRADERS GET ICE CREAM FOR GOOD TEST SCORES; 6TH & 7TH GRADERS GET THE ICECREAM BY DEFAULT
My husband is a math teacher. He is passionate about teaching math. More so, he is passionate about teaching life-lessons such as working hard for rewards. He does not give credit for merely doing homework. This is because he used to do so, but students started writing anything on their paper because they knew the teachers weren’t checking it. They would get 100’s for writing “Sally has a blue face.” Okay, I’m exaggerating. But they would merely write a bunch of numbers down to make it look like they did something, but they never solved the problems! As a result, my husband started grading their homework, simply to ensure they were working out the problems. He wasn’t grading it for accuracy, but he was grading it for effort. If he saw that a kid simply wrote out a bunch of numbers that meant supercalafragalisticexpialadoshus, he gave them a zero.
So, when he has parent-teacher conferences and parents come in saying, “Jimmy doesn’t understand the work.” Brian explains that if they would put forth more effort, they would have a higher chance of understanding it. Then, he shows them the homework that reflects the level of effort their child has put forth. Silence always follows. Brian doesn’t have to say much after he presents his evidence.
Now, of course, there are those kids who show the work and still have a hard time. I’m not talking about those kids. By the way, Brian always gives them an appropriate effort grade, and he always passes the kids who are trying their very best. He has grace for anyone who shows up and does the work. As a result, previous students have grown-up and come to thank my husband for teaching them the value of hard-work and for expecting them to reach their God-given potential.
My husband came home one day completely irritated that the school was allowing every kid to have an ice cream party because the 8th graders did well on testing. “How does that teach the 6th and 7th graders to work hard for anything?” He asked. He went on to discuss how even sports teams give every kid a trophy rather than reserving them for the teams that win the most games. “Everyone has to be a winner, regardless of whether they won anything,” Brian says. “It’s doing our kids a huge injustice. We aren’t teaching them about the value of hard-work, and our children will continue to suffer for it,” Brian says.
You are probably wondering why I’m writing a devotional about math and hard-work. I imagine you aren’t feeling very encouraged right now. Well, it just crossed my mind one day that life is full of rules, and if we truly want to benefit, we do have to show up and put forth our best effort. But isn’t it amazing that Jesus paid the price for our eternity, and we truly do benefit by the default of the price He already paid?! If we believe and accept Jesus as Lord and Savior eternity is ours.
However, God has brought something very powerful to my mind….Much like the lie my husband’s students have been told over the years (that they just have to turn in something that looks like they did their math homework), there’s a lie that one just has to believe in Jesus to go to Heaven. But we know that James said that even the demons believe.
Jas 2:14What good is it, my brothers, if a man claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save him?
Jas 2:15Suppose a brother or sister is without clothes and daily food.
Jas 2:16If one of you says to him, “Go, I wish you well; keep warm and well fed,” but does nothing about his physical needs, what good is it?
Jas 2:17In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.
Jas 2:18But someone will say, “You have faith; I have deeds.” Show me your faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by what I do.
Jas 2:19You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that—and shudder.
Jas 2:20You foolish man, do you want evidence that faith without deeds is useless?
So we recognize two key points:
- The action part of the salvation prayer is asking Jesus to be Lord of one’s life. It’s about much more than merely believing. It takes action on our part – the act of total surrender.
- We are reminded how important it is to combine action with faith.
For some reason, many have missed the importance of the action part of the salvation prayer. And many who have been saved for many years have long since forgotten that it took the act of submitting to God to be saved. After that quick act of submission, many get comfy and sit idle for years or lifetimes.
When we stand before God, I am so thankful that we don’t have to say anything once we submit our evidence (believe and submission to Jesus Christ).But for now, while we are still here, let us spread the truth and message of grace. But, let us also remember to put legs to our faith as we live out the plans God has for us on earth!
Mt 9:35Jesus went through all the towns and villages, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the good news of the kingdom and healing every disease and sickness.
Mt 9:36When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd.
Mt 9:37Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few.
In Heaven everyone gets ice cream, but on earth, we sure do need some more ice-cream truck drivers….
Kristina Seymour loves to encourage and equip women through the Word and through community. She is the author of The Warrior Mom Handbook, The Warrior Mom Leadership Manual, and The Warrior Wife Handbook; they are available at Amazon.com. Kristina's Bible studies are for women who desire to live by faith in the midst of their everyday lives. She has learned that women can't survive on caffeine and animal crackers alone; women in the Word and in community are united and able to stand firm. To learn more about Kristina, please visit her website, https://kristinaseymour.com/. God loves to share His story of love and grace through us all, and Kristina believes that everyone has a story to tell.
Originally published Tuesday, 17 April 2018.