God Bestows Favor & Honor

Written on

September 9, 2023

This week the Tennessee Department of Education released teacher scores. They take each teacher’s assigned students, analyze how they perform on the one big state assessment and then score that teacher on a scale from 1 to 5. The teacher gets to say whether they want to be evaluated on student growth or overall performance, but the goal for the teacher is be a Level 5 Educator.

I could use this blog as a place to air all my frustrations with this evaluation system for teachers – how unfair it is, what it does and doesn’t take into account. But – this is not my space for that kind of venting. This is where I process what God is teaching me – and He is. He is teaching me through this state-run, government-required, teacher-evaluation structure.

Last year was my first year to be gauged by my students’ performance on this one test. As a first year, fully certified teacher, I did not expect to be a Level 5 Teacher. Even as I have gotten positive evaluations from my administrators and their observations, I knew a “5” was a lot to ask for. In all honesty though, I was disappointed that my rating wasn’t higher.

In the meantime, I have been meditating and memorizing Psalm 84:11-12.

“For the Lord God is a sun and shield;

the Lord bestows favor and honor.

No good thing does he withhold

from those who walk uprightly.

O Lord of hosts,

blessed is the one who trusts in you.”

Psalm 84:11-12 ESV

The second line, “the Lord bestows favor and honor,” is what is really hitting home for me right now. (You can see my thoughts on the first line in these two posts: God is a Sun and God Is A Shield)

You see, I don’t need the Tennessee Department of Education to validate me as a professional educator. Don’t get me wrong, the recognition would be nice. I would appreciate it – but “they” aren’t my ultimate authority. I don’t teach for their approval. Ultimately, I teach because I know teaching is what God has called me to and gifted me for. He is the One that I work for. He is the One I want to please. He is the One whose favor and honor I want to receive.

As I think about God being the One who ultimately bestows favor and honor, I have to acknowledge His sovereignty in bestowing favor and honor in ALL things. As He dictates even the roll of the dice, no matter the outcome, He controls the winners and the losers of all the competitions, promotions, and, yes even the elections.

God chooses and places people in positions of authority. He does this intentionally, with His all-knowing wisdom. In my finite mind, I cannot even begin to fathom why it appears that the ungodly prosper and the immoral succeed. But I can understand and faithfully trust that He knows what He is doing.

His plans and His ways are higher and better than mine. He is the One who should be bestowing favor and honor. I am the one who should be humbly submitting to His will, His plans and His ways. Besides, His word promises in the book of James that He will lift up or exalt those who humble or submit themselves before Him.

What does this look like for me personally? I will trust the faithful God that I depend on for ALL things. He will take care of ALL things in my life. He will make sure I, my husband and daughters are given the “due” that we deserve. He knows ALL things and has proven that He can be trusted to make sure ALL things resolve exactly as they should. I don’t trust in karma, but I do trust in my good God to rightly bestow ALL favor and honor.

What does this look like for me professionally? I will submit to the authority of the Tennessee Department of Education. I will do my best work, not for them or my principals, not even for my students, but for my God. He is the ultimate source of favor and honor.

Photo by Towfiqu barbhuiya on Unsplash

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