Devotions for Teachers: Being a Good Steward

In the past few weeks, I have seen the Parable of the Talents referenced a lot lately. I think it’s because I listen to a lot of business podcasts that are hosted by Christian women, and this parable is just bound to come up in a world where business and religion intersect. And I’m here for it, because I love this particular parable. Hearing it referenced so many times has made me stop and notice the ways that it applies to my teaching life.

If you’re not familiar with it, here’s the gist (from Matthew 25: 14-30):

Jesus tells the story of a master and his servants. In this analogy, we are the servants and God is the master. So keep that in mind as you read this. The master decides to entrust each of his servants with portions of his property. Back in those days, a “talent” was a measure of currency. It’s the origin of our definition of talent that we know today. To one servant, he gives 5 talents. He gives the next guy two talents, and the final servant one. The guy with 5 talents sets off to work right away, and ends up doubling his master’s wealth, returning with 5 talents more. The man with two talents does the same. But the man with one talent was nervous that he would blow this opportunity, and he hides his master’s money in the ground to protect it.

When the master calls the men back to discuss their profits, he’s pleased to find that the first two guys took what he had given them and created something better with it. When the third man is up to share his profits, he apologizes and basically says that he knows how hard his master has worked to earn that money in the first place, and he was worried that if he went and tried to do business with it, that he wouldn’t be as smart as his master and he may lose it all. His master is MADDD, y’all. He goes so far as to call him slothful. Lazy because he didn’t take what he was given and share it with the world. He calls him wicked because he doesn’t believe in himself to try.

This is basically how God feels about us. He has entrusted each of us with a precious piece of His Kingdom: our students. He gave us the skill set we would need to excel. And when you do well, he blesses you with more of what you need to multiply the blessings back on your life. I believe that with my whole heart. I have seen God do this for me. The more I confidently teach in my room, the more new ideas I have. The more energy I’m given. The more special bonds I form with my students that keep me moving through the year. When I teach with reckless abandon, and I don’t get bogged down by the negativity around me, the more people around me respect what I have to say.

I don’t say this to brag. I say all of this because I am trying to be a good steward of what I was given. If I had buried this skill in the sand and pretended like it wasn’t really God’s will for my life, part of my life wouldn’t really make sense. If I had pursued something different, I never would have met my husband. I wouldn’t have these babies. I wouldn’t have been in the community that led us to our beautiful first home. I wouldn’t know all of the fantastic families I know. I wouldn’t have the life-long friendships I have now.

My decision to become a teacher was more than just that: it was a choice to share my talent with the world. To spread it like seeds in the ground, so they could multiply and bless others. This is the same for you. You became a teacher because you felt in your bones at some point in your life that you should be. For me, it was when I was twelve. Maybe you weren’t quite as intense as me, and you were more of a normal adolescent who didn’t plot out your future. But, I knew when I was REAL young that this was what I should be doing.

If you’re feeling discouraged with your career choice, list out the skills that make you good at this. List out the things you love about teaching…the things that fuel you throughout the day. Could you find those things in another field? Maybe some of them. But all of them? Doubt it. You’re a teacher, my friend.

SIDE NOTE: many of us as teachers, sadly, are forced into side hustles. But I view this as a way to flex another spiritual muscle. We are multi-dimensional, regular people, after all. We can be good at more than one thing. Listen to the things God whispers to you about what you may need to share with the world. Art? Digital design? Jewelry? Writing? What else were you given that you need to share with the world. Don’t be that servant who buries God’s Kingdom in the sand. He may avoid sharing more of it with you in the future. ❤️

If this resonated with you, feel free to grab the cards below to keep at your desk at school, or somewhere at home, to remind you this week that you are living in your talent, and you are called to bless your sweet class with it. :)

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Stephanie Sutherland