Healthy Leaders


A Teacher’s Greatest Disappointment

David GoodmanDavid Goodman

Have you ever poured your life into someone only to see him or her turn into just about the biggest disappointment possible?

I’ve had disappointments as a teacher and discipler. But none nearly as great as the one I am going to tell you about.

I won’t give you this professor’s name, because you would recognize it right away. Suffice it to say, he took on a very promising young man to disciple in the faith. The teacher’s reputation was such that if he were to let it be known that he was looking for someone to mentor, most people would drop everything to volunteer for the position.

There was nothing this professor wouldn’t do for his student. He took his protégé along on trips so the student could observe how the teacher handled some of the most challenging situations. The young man not only had the opportunity to hear many hours of teaching, but in private moments also had opportunities to ask his mentor any question and expect an answer.

Not surprisingly, the teacher had enemies. For some it was professional jealousy; others were offended by things he said. Perhaps his greatest mistake was in letting anyone, even his young student, get so close to him. Then again, maybe he saw it coming all along.

For it was through this student that the professor’s enemies found their opportunity and quite literally, crucified him.

OK, by now you know Whom I’m talking about and how it all turns out.

If you’re a teacher, and if you’ve ever discipled anyone, what makes you think you might not have a failure or two? If you, as a discipler, make yourself vulnerable, why should you expect to not experience hurt, even deep hurt, on occasion?

“For as we share abundantly in Christ’s sufferings, so through Christ we share abundantly in comfort too.” (2 Corinthians 1:5 ESV)

Remember, you and I trace our spiritual lineage back to the 11 disciples who did not betray Jesus. We pass along that legacy of love to those we disciple, who will in turn pass it along to their protégés.

And if you have a Judas in your life, remember, Jesus had one, too.

Pause and Reflect:

Think about the failures in your labor of discipling and building leaders.
How will you demonstrate grace and mercy like Jesus did and display the glory of God?
Pray that God will help you to glorify Him even in incidents of apparent disloyalty and failure.

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