Those New Year's Resolutions
If you are like most people, you have already broken a New Year's resolution or two. More time to exercise, less to eat, more time reading God's Word, more time with the family. Sometimes, the hardest thing to do is just get started.
I have spoken to a number of faculty members who have said they would like to be more vocal about their faith in Christ, but just haven't gotten over the initial fear. If that sounds familiar, let me tell you a true story that might be an encouragement.
Walter Bradley, professor at Texas A & M, recently retold me the story of his resolution to identify himself as a Christian to his students. It seems that Walter had never had any professor during his many years as a student who ever made it clear that he/she was a believer. When he became a faculty member, he promised himself that that would not happen to his students.
Walter planned his short speech in great detail. He was going to give a brief biography - mentioning his education, wife, family and favorite activities. Then, he would mention that his life revolved around his relationship with Christ. It was going to be very simple and straightfoward, and it would last only a few minutes.
Before going to class, he shared with his wife what he was going to say, and they prayed together. Walter finished his entire class and totally chickened out. When he went home, his wife asked him how it went. He had to admit his failure, but promised to do it at the next class on Friday. When he returned from class on Friday, he had to report that he had "choked again."
As a matter of fact, he went to class 22 times with the intention of sharing his story! It was only on the 23rd try that he finally got it out. From that point on, it was never that difficult. As a matter of fact, Walter says that most things he has ever done were always most difficult the first time he did them.
Will students in your classroom go through their entire career without knowing that there are Christian professors out there? It is always hardest the first time, but the rewards are many.
Just last semester one of the MMMs mentioned identifying yourself as a Christian. One professor wrote me back saying, "I also wanted to thank you for the e-mail you sent out Monday encouraging faculty to make a stand for Jesus on their first day of classes. It sealed my commitment to do so, and I did get positive feedback from it."
Scripture: Romans 1:16 - "For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek."
Action Point: Look for appropriate places to share the importance of your faith with students and colleagues inside and outside of the classroom. Make specific plans for when you will tell students in each class about yourself.
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