For we are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works.
Friend to Friend
I really wanted a teaching job and really did not want to work in an insurance office. It paid the bills and enabled my husband to work on his Masters degree at Seminary. I was thankful for the job, but I really wanted to teach. I pestered the personnel office of the Fort Worth ISD for months until they finally gave in, jumping at their job offer to teach anything anywhere. When I went to visit my new school, the principal escorted me up a flight of stairs, pointed to a door and said, “That’s your first grade class. Good luck!” He smiled and quickly walked away.
Stepping into the classroom, I froze at the astonishing sight before me. Some children were jumping on tables while others crawled under tables. All of the children were yelling at the top of their lungs. Paper and food littered the floor. It was total chaos.
In the corner sat an obviously frazzled substitute teacher who was desperately trying to gain control of her students … uh, make that my students.
I soon learned that because of overcrowding, each teacher had been asked to select two children to form a new classroom … my classroom … and of course, each teacher had chosen his or her two most difficult students.
As I read over their files, I was appalled at the labels that had been attached to these kids by their previous teachers. At the ripe old age of six, these children were described as corrupt, bad, failures, impossible to control … and one child was actually pronounced “stupid.” I was furious! I was also determined to change the way the children saw themselves. I pulled out all the stops to help them understand how special they were, but “Star of the Day” was by far the most successful.
First, I bought a piece of yellow foam board, cut out a huge star, decorated it with glitter, used adhesive letters to write “Star of the Day,” and attached it to my classroom door. I then took a picture of each student in my classroom. Each day, I chose a student to be the Star of the Day and attached his or her photo to the star. I also made a badge that read “Star of the Day” which the student wore all day long. My husband built a special desk, painted it gold, attached dime store jewels and streamers, and mounted the desk to a small platform. The Star of the Day sat on their “throne” all day.
The Star of the Day was my personal assistant, handing out papers, running errands, sharpening pencils … whatever I needed done. All day long, the other students watched the Star to see all of the good things he or she did. It could be something as simple as picking up a dropped pencil … or opening the door … or being especially nice to someone who was struggling.
At the end of the day, I gathered all of the children in a circle around the Star of the Day. Each student shared one good thing they had seen the Star do that day. No negative comments were allowed. And every student had to participate. It was amazing to watch the transformation in the students as they learned to look for the good in each other and share it with others.
We need to do the same with the people in our world. We need to look for the good things in each other … not the bad. We need to be quick to draw attention to the worthy things we see each other do and applaud those things.
Our words should be filled with acceptance and approval. We need to be cautious with criticism and liberal with praise.
1 Thessalonians 5:11 “So encourage each other to build each other up.”
People become what we encourage them to be. We need to train our hearts and minds to pass over faults in search of strong points. We should choose to draw the strong qualities of others into the spotlight.
We really can learn to look for reasons in each other to praise God. Everyone needs a cheerleader. When we choose to look for the good in each other, an amazing transformation happens. Our perspective of people changes, but that is not all. The people in our world begin to see themselves differently – the way Jesus sees them, precious and chosen – like a star of the day.
Father, I am amazed by the truth that You love me and chose me to be Your very own. I don’t understand such love, but I embrace it as the precious gift that it is. Help me remember that in Your eyes, I am planned, wanted, loved and chosen.
In Jesus’ Name.
Now It’s Your Turn
Do you battle feelings of insecurity? Read Psalm 139 once each day for a month and see how God changes your perspective.
Is your mind often filled with negative thoughts about who you are and what you do? Read and memorize 2 Corinthians 10:5. When those negative thoughts come, reject them with this truth.
More from the Girlfriends
Have you ever wondered why you were even born? Mary’s MP3 download, In His Eyes, will lead you to understand how valuable you are, to seek and find God’s unique design for your life, and to grasp the concept of seeing yourself through the eyes of God.