Prayer: Dear Lord, I want to honor You in all my dealings this day. Please lead me to guard my tongue and emotions. I love You. Amen

Scripture: If your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault, between you and him alone. If he listens to you, you have gained your brother. Matthew 18:15 ESV

“Where’s Andrew?” I asked the third graders in his class as I began the chorus rehearsal. “Mr. Graham wouldn’t let him come because he didn’t have his homework done,” was their reply. I seethed inside. How could this teacher pull rank on me? Andrew was my student for this hour once a week and he shouldn’t be missing my class for another teacher, no matter how legitimate a reason.

All through the rehearsal the thought of this injustice bothered me. I knew that if I allowed the situation to go unchecked, he, and maybe the seven other teachers would begin using my rehearsal, which the kids clearly loved, as a means of punishment for all kinds of misdeeds. My first instinct was to go to a friend and get her sympathy, or even to go to the principal and get a “top down” pronouncement about this kind of thing.

Instead, I prayed and asked the Lord to give me courage to do the right thing. Confrontations weren’t easy for me. At lunchtime, I spoke with Mr. Graham about it. He received my words, and seemed to accept them without firing back at me some kind of rebuttal, for which I was grateful. And, never again did he keep students out of my rehearsals.

I often wondered if my colleague saw Christ in my life in that small incident, when instead of gossiping and complaining to administration, I went to him. He never mentioned it again, but years later when he took a job with the State Department of Education, he called and invited me to bring the school chorus to perform for a state-wide conference. Perhaps I won him over on that day so long before, when I confronted him. Ask God to give you courage in such situations, to spare a team-mate’s reputation and show Christ’s love, even when you’d rather not.

Copyright Shirley Wilson.  To connect with the author, email

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