The 99

I heard of a teacher who was nervous about her first year. As the school year went on she became aware of one child who did not like her. As a result, the child’s mother did not like her and in her slight way, made it known.

As you might have guessed this upset the new teacher to no end. She focused on trying to win the one over and became very frustrated as her efforts fell on the green speckled tile floor. She talked about it and complained about it a lot!

At the end of the school year, the new teacher received an outpouring of cards, flowers, gifts, and gift cards. The written words spoke of love and appreciation because they witnessed how hard this new teacher taught their children, of how she showed her concern for them. Even the other teachers tangibly showed their appreciation, but there was that one child, that one mother.

It is just like Satan to try to get us to place our focus on the wrong person or in the wrong direction. He wants that discontentment to fester and grow in our hearts until it chokes out any remaining love of God that was once in us. We must not allow this to happen!

The teacher’s husband spoke gentle words that turned her head to see the 99. To take note of the mighty outpouring of love and appreciation for a job well done. He challenged her to never think of the “one” ever again.

Yes, there are times to not go after the “one”, but to leave them lost and behind. Truth is, no amount of words will change their mind anyway. Trying to get them to see what the others see so easily is a waste of time and energy. In Matthew 18, Jesus talked about leaving the 99 and searching for the one that was lost, but in the new teacher’s case, the one that was lost purposed in their heart to sow hate and discord of their own free will. A lost soul has not heard about the saving grace of Jesus Christ. There is a distinct difference between the two.

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