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Word association
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The other day, for some reason, I was thinking about the teachers I had when I was in both elementary as well as secondary schools.

Many I remember primarily because of either a positive or negative impact they had on my life. Some I don’t remember at all, most likely because they had no major impact on me. I came up with words that best described these teachers of impact. The positive words were “caring”, “Spirit-filled”, “loving”, “dedicated”, “interesting”, and “compassionate”. While the negative words that I could attach to some teachers were, “mean”, “unfair”, “uncaring”, “grouchy” and “discriminatory”.

Teachers have an awesome responsibility, and it goes beyond teaching. So many kids feel defeated because of bad experiences in school while so many others can look back and say that it was teachers who made a huge difference in their successes.

The most important thing a teacher can pass on to a student is a Christian influence. I know in public school a teacher cannot teach the Bible, and this is another topic for another day, but a Christian can live such a life that shines for Jesus.

Teachers are not the only persons who can have words attached to them; we all can and for the most part do. We are either affecting others positively or negatively. We are encouragers or discouragers. People who know us think of certain words that describe us whnn they think of us. In scripture, one of the disciples of Jesus was called John. When Jesus met him, he was known as one of two brothers called the “sons of thunder”, probably because of a hot temper.

By the end of the ministry of Jesus, he was known as “John the beloved”. Partly this is because he had a special place in Jesus’ heart but also because this topic of love came through in all of his writings. He talked about love and lived it out through his life.

So, what word do people who know you and watch your life use to describe you?

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