Do you have a favorite teacher? Perhaps one who believed in you and encouraged you to reach higher or try a little harder?
The “Pygmalion Effect” been demonstrated in many classroom studies. Even though a teacher may not verbalize their positive or negative attitudes toward their students, children pick up on them. Teachers who expect their students to succeed and project a positive attitude toward their classes tend to see more success in their students. On the other hand, a teacher who is just putting in time or has low expectations for their class sees much less academic success.
When a child is praised and encouraged to believe they can achieve something, they will act accordingly and work toward that goal, even if it seems impossible. Those who are beaten down by the words and actions of others, who are told they can’t do things, rarely even bother to try.
Jesus had high expectations for His “class” of rough, ignorant disciples. And for a while, it seemed as though He failed with them when they scattered following his death.But through His resurrection and the guidance of his Spirit, they were transformed into the founding fathers of our faith who took the gospel to far-reaching corners of the known world in spite of persecution and hardship.
He still has high expectations for our spiritual success today. He wants us to grow up in Him, to become the people He created us to be – overcomers, leaders, teachers – to work with Him to encourage others to be all they can be in their spiritual lives.
Thank you Lord, for believing in me and investing yourself in my life so I can grow into your likeness more each day. Amen.