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Fair Play

By: Peter Joseph Patricio

God is not unjust; he will not forget your work and the love you have shown him as you have helped his people and continue to help them.” Hebrews 6:10 

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I am easily attached to children who show good character and right attitude, children who know how to respect and follow what is right. These children are easy to deal with, especially in the classroom. You will like them or love them. Who wouldn’t? They give you a stress-free day, right?

My heart found no compassion and favor to students with unappealing attitude; not that I hated them, but I found myself snapping at them when I ran out of patient. It had been a struggle for me to find connection with these students since I could not discipline them my way. I felt that my heart was hardened and they barely got my attention. But that was totally change.

Around 6:45 PM, after dinner, I went outside to watch my students playing ‘tag’. I was about to wear my shoes when my one-on-one conversation student called me, “Teacher, English study.” Our class was supposedly at 4:00~5:00 PM. He was late and I didn’t mind him not attending our class. But I was surprised when he called my attention. In my mind, “Wait, seriously?” He was new to my schedule but he’s not a stranger to me. When he eats, his food is wasted; he’s a naughty kid and doesn’t respect his elders. The moment he called me, I was petrified for a while. The tone of sincerity struck me; his words were simple yet so powerful to make me realize how I acted wrongly. In a snap, I was certain that I was wrong to have unjustly treated him and the others.

I thought it would happen only in one session, but he keeps on surprising me every day. Tony (his English name) proved me wrong. The sparkle in his eyes manifests the eagerness to learn. And our English session gives me an opportunity to discipline him not with stick or with heavy hands but with attention and care. His improvement gives me a constant realization where I lack and how unfair I was to play favoritism. He opened my eyes to see that those whom I thought have unfavorable attitude actually just needed attention, care and love.

I may struggle still, but this has been a constant reminder for me that God is just: He treats His children equally; spends much of His attention to those who lost their way; uses those who are faithful to be instruments for them to know Him and to channel the blessings to those who need it.

“This is what the Lord asks of you: only this, to act justly, to love tenderly, and to walk humbly with your God” (Micah 6:8).

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