A lot of students are dreading going back to school. Squeezing every ounce of freedom from learning, the grumbling and complaining about returning to school has begun. Some will return to school excited to be sporting their new clothing and notebooks while forgetting temporarily the homework that awaits them every day. Others will focus on the long hours at the desk listening to a teacher ramble on and on about mathematical equations and history facts seemingly irrelevant for the present times. No matter where each student stands, the attitude one possesses will have a huge impact on the ability for that student to learn. One can have the right curriculum and textbook in hand, but if one walks into the class begrudgingly the chances for the student to achieve all the teacher desires will be limited.
The attitude of a student of Christ entering the classroom of God also plays a tremendous part of one’s ability to grow and learn. Let us consider and examine the following story from Luke, where we encounter the attitude of Martha before class started and during the teaching hour.
While they were traveling, He entered a village, and a woman named Martha welcomed Him into her home. She had a sister named Mary, who also sat at the Lord’s feet and was listening to what He said. But Martha was distracted by her many tasks, and she came up and asked, “Lord, don’t You care that my sister has left me to serve alone? So tell her to give me a hand.”
The Lord answered her, “Martha, Martha, you are worried and upset about many things, but one thing is necessary. Mary has made the right choice and it will not be taken away from her.” Luke 10:38-42.
The other day one of my children decided that they knew better than the textbook. They couldn’t understand why a certain task was being asked of them the way that it was being presented and a meltdown was occurring. I had to remind them that they were not the experts and did not know all the answers. Therefore, they would have to humble themselves before being able to look at the problem from the teachers perspective and the manner of how they wanted the answer to be solved. It would only be after they could admit they were not the one with the correct answer, could they then be free in their mind to seek out the way the author of the textbook was wanting them to proceed with the activity. Once my child surrendered to their attitude of pride, they were able to successfully complete the assignment. Martha, too, was having the same experience.
Martha was assuming what she and her sister should be doing while Jesus was in their home. She brought her own perceptions and “answers” to the table and was having her own meltdown right there in front of the Master Teacher. Her spirit of pridefulness prevented her from truly learning all that the Savior had for her that day.
As students of Christ, we often have the same pridefulness when entering into the classroom of God. We open our bibles and begin to force our solutions into the words God is trying to speak to us through His Word. When we do this, we only become frustrated and have our own meltdowns. Our attitude must change from arrogance to humility if we are to enter the classroom with the correct spirit.
Martha’s pridefulness also drowned out her gratitude for what was actually taking place in her home. Her meltdown was preventing her from being thankful that Christ had chosen her home to rest and teach. Our flesh, our old behavior, and old nature, draws us back towards negative thinking and remembering the seemingly “good ole days” when in reality our focus should be on the many blessings that surround us at present. This is clearly seen within the Israelite community. God delivers the Israelites from the Egyptians by separating the vast water of the Red Sea and allowing them to walk across dry land to safety. Two months pass following that miraculous day and how were the Israelites responding to their deliverance?
The entire Israelite community grumbled against Moses and Aaron in the wilderness. The Israelites said to them, “If only we had died by the LORD’s hand in the land of Egypt, when we sat by pots of meat and ate all the bread we wanted. Instead, you brought us into this wilderness to make this whole assembly die of hunger!” Exodus 16:2-3
The Israelites were not focusing on the deliverance and provision God was already currently giving them. Instead, they allowed the circumstances around them to prevent them from receiving from God the abundance He desired to give. As students of Christ, we must remember to have minds that are focused on thanksgiving and not complaining. Attitudes bent towards thankfulness and gratitude instead of grumbling and complaining open up the student of Christ’s mind to embrace more fully all that God desires to teach.
Today’s society can plug themselves into a multitude of media options. iPods. iTunes. iPhones. The idea of being still and quiet is foreign and archaic. In the book, Lies Young Women Believe, Nancy LeDemoss and Danah Gresh notice the side effects this behavior is having on young people.
We’ve noticed that people who spend most of their waking hours plugged in to media—whether social networking media like [Facebook], or entertainment media like iPods and television—have a hard time getting still enough and quiet enough long enough to think or to let God speak to them through His Word.
They continue with the reality that full instruction can not be received nor applied in a student’s life unless there are seasons and times of quietness.
There is a richness of soul that cannot be cultivated without regular seasons of quiet and solitude. There is a depth in our relationships with God and others that cannot be experienced apart from times of unhurried, face-to-face conversation.
Martha’s busy attitude was preventing her from learning through the stillness of sitting at the Teacher’s feet and she is not alone. This is a huge struggle for the student of Christ today. The student of Christ too often plugs in a podcast, television preacher, praise and worship music, or even enters into prayer with mouth running non-stop with suggestions and requests of the Teacher, instead of finding a quiet, comfortable place to be still and listen to the great Master Teacher.
The school bell is about to ring. What attitude will we, as students of Christ, bring into the classroom? It must be one of humility, thanksgiving, and stillness. It is only then will we be able to glean and apply all that the Teacher has for us to learn. Join me HERE as I expound further on the importance of having the right attitude as a student of Christ and don’t forget your homework!!
- Pray and ask God for a change of attitude. Psalm 19:12-13, 51, 139:23-24
- Practice thanksgiving by changing what you focus on and verbally giving thanks for where you are and what you have at present. Psalm 100:4-5, Philippians 4:8
- Schedule a time this week, to sit at the feet of Jesus in quietness. Put ear plugs in if you have too!! Instead of playing worship music, find a quiet place and spend some time listening to the Master Teacher. Take only your bible and some pen and paper. Psalm 46:10, Matthew 14:23
In the Secret by Chris Tomlin, 3:51 minutes
Count Your Blessings by Hawk Nelson, 3:27 minutes
One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp
Crazy Busy by Kevin DeYoung
Humility The Beauty of Holiness by Andrew Murray
Don’t Miss a Thing!!
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