Although I’ve retired, I still receive an online teachers’ magazine. I was amused by an article yesterday – “You know you’re a teacher when…” followed by a list of things we teachers do without thinking. Here’s some examples (Created by: TES Resource Team 24-5-2013)
- You’ve just started relaxing on a quiet beach somewhere faraway and you hear “Hiya miss!”
- You feel the urge to tell kids off when out shopping
- You can’t read ANYTHING with spelling or grammatical errors without wanting to correct it
- The only pen you can find is red
- Your ability to detect lies & spot contraband would be better suited to a career in the Met
And a teacher is a teacher, retired or not. And a Pharaoh is a Pharaoh, whether he runs the country or not. As soon as the big man heard about Joseph’s brothers, he was giving out the orders (Genesis 45:16-24). The funny thing is, those men who had been a tad reluctant before suddenly set to without question. Pharaoh might not have been much in evidence in the ruling of Egypt since Joseph’s appointment to office, but his authority was unquestionable. And what’s more, so was Joseph’s when it was in line with Pharaoh’s. I was highly amused by him telling them, “Don’t quarrel on the way!” Little brother or no, he was giving them their marching orders, and off they went accordingly.
As Christians, we do not question God’s authority in the world. He made it. He ultimately rules it. And just as Joseph carried out the work of governance on Pharaoh’s behalf, God has appointed us to carry his authority into the world. The centurion in Matthew 8:8-9 understood the line of command. The disciples were given authority over evil spirits, disease and sickness just a couple of chapters later in Matthew 10:1. And we too should learn how to use the power God has bestowed on us as his arms and legs in the world.
As a young teacher, I had to learn how to establish authority over the kids in my care. I observed the turns of phrase, the body language, the tones of voice my more experienced colleagues used, and applied them myself, adding in a few of my own into my repertoire as time went on. It doesn’t come with the post, it’s a learned skill.
In the same way we need to know who we are in God, and use his authority to make a difference in his world.