Our experience in school teaches us many lessons about human behavior. One of them is this: almost every classroom has two kinds of people, 1) the teacher’s pet, and 2) the class clown.
The teacher’s pet is favored by the teacher because of their obedience, conformity, perhaps intelligence, often offering extra compliments or gifts to the teacher, and a model of good behavior.
The class clown is a goof-off, eager for attention from peers and unafraid of bad behavior. A free spirit who doesn’t seem to care about classroom rules or even social etiquette. A trouble maker.
Is it possible for one student in the classroom to be both teacher’s pet and class clown? Hard to imagine, but it would take a very special teacher with extreme love, grace and patience to pull that off.
This morning I read about that in Psalm 25:8, “Good and upright is the Lord; therefore he instructs sinners in his ways.”
The Lord God is a teacher. He loves to instruct. He wants people to learn. To grow deeper in faith, closer to him, and wider in applying his truth everyday.
Look again at this Bible verse. What kind of person does the Lord love to instruct? What kind of person does he appreciate being able to teach?
Those who are sinners. Class clowns. Trouble makers. People whose behavior hasn’t met God’s expectations, who have broken his commandments, who could be described as unfaithful, rebellious or even wicked. They let themselves down, let others down, and let God down. Sinners.
These are God’s favorites. He loves instructing sinners.
God doesn’t focus his attention on those who are perfectly obedient all the time, those whose behavior is exemplary and receive awards for their good deeds, those who have their life together with such discipline there isn’t a speck of dust in the wrong place.
Honestly, why do those people even need God—if they’ve got it all together? No, God loves the class clowns. They are the teacher’s pets in his classroom. He is the loving, gracious, patient teacher who is willing to teach sinners. Willing to share his ways with those who don’t always walk in them. Willing to instruct those who aren’t always interested in divine instructions.
Doesn’t that kind of attention from God—so forgiving, so vulnerable—make you want to learn more from him? He hopes so.
PRAYER: Dear God, your ways are holy, but I don’t always behave that way. I’m sorry for behaving like a class clown, and thank you for considering me the teacher’s pet in your classroom. Teach me, kind and forgiving God, so that I learn to be the person your grace says that I am. Amen.
FURTHER MEDITATION: Use the PRAY acronym.
- Praise (tell God what you appreciate about something he is teaching you)
- Repent (tell God about your resistance to learning from him)
- Ask (request God’s mercy because he loves to give it freely)
- Yield (talk to God about the next step after you say “Amen,” how you want faith to lead the way, how you are willing to be part of his answer and see it develop for your good)