Thankfully, I’m dying bit by bit.
I had a professor in college who liked to shock us by saying, “The Holy Spirit is trying to kill you.” And, honestly, there is a lot in me that He needs to kill.
At the end of last week, I was frustrated with many of my students and tired of teaching. One class seemed to be intensely critical of everything I was saying, perhaps a reaction from an impromptu assignment the day before. Then a phone went off in class. Finally, I asked students to take down papers I had them stick to the board and a few seemed to think it would be funny to tear them off, leaving them slightly crumpled.
It was all more than I wanted to deal with at the time. And so I reacted. I spoke a bit too harshly to the students who didn’t seem to care about the activity I had thrown together for them. They were upset, but I was perhaps more upset. One wanted to argue the matter and I told them to come back later if they wanted to discuss it.
I had a couple class periods to reflect on the situation. My response, I soon realized, was not to that isolated situation but to the frustration of the entire day. And I knew that wasn’t fair, but I couldn’t undo my unfair reaction. So when one of the students stopped by after school, I was surprised, but glad. We had a conversation and a few moments of it I could feel myself getting a little upset again.
In the end, part of me died. I told the student I over-reacted and the punishment I threw out wasn’t fair. While apologizing, I admitted that I hadn’t responded in the way that I should have responded. “I agree with you: you don’t deserve a detention. I’m sorry.” Continue reading “The Holy Spirit Wants to Kill You”