Redemptive Gift of Teacher
Mr. Spock, from the original TV series Star Trek, is a good example of the Redemptive Gift of Teacher. He thinks there is an intellectual, logical answer to everything. Being half Vulcan, emotions are of no use to him.
In one scene, the U.S.S. Enterprise showed superior weapons to another race. Spock reacts, “They should’ve fled, it’s illogical.”
Bones replies,“Did it ever occur to you they might have reacted irrationally, with anger?”
(for some illogical Mr. Spock scenes, click here)
Jehovah Nissi – “God our banner” or standard. The Pharisees in the Bible are of the teacher tribe, albeit a broken version.
The Pharisees were all about standards and regulations being kept. They understood that’s what kept people safe. It’s the same reason you want a teacher engineer designing a bridge. Teachers totally understand that accuracy matters in bridge design, and that principles (standards) cannot – under any circumstances – be deviated from or else bridges collapse!
Yet, in a broken version, there are standards and logic but no heart. The Pharisees legalistic application of standards without regard to social and heart connections put people in bondage rather than drawing them under God’s principles for protection.
What makes a Teacher tick?
Drive – Knowledge, logic, standards. Everything in life is seen as an equation to be solved. They will study and research answers to their problems, and are typically knowledgeable of many things. Unfortunately, teachers try to get their needs met in this way — having all the right answers or information.
The challenge for all the gifts is to not turn to their natural strengths when fearful or struggling as a substitute for trusting in God.
The characteristics of teacher flow from this drive:
- A need to validate truth
- Doesn’t receive or reject new ideas right away but researches it out
- Wants to see the end of a process before stepping out to begin it
- Very patient
Strength – Patience, accuracy. Teachers make great engineers and scientists. They have seemingly endless patience to make things exact and perfect when it really matters. And loyalty and faithfulness to their beliefs, work, and loved ones is strong, although it is not always expressed.
Weakness – Social responsibility. So often social interaction seems shallow, even illogical to teachers. Instead of “news, sports, and weather,” they are looking for “deeper” communication. They are typically very responsible, but only in what they want to be responsible in.
It takes a mature teacher to deeply understand they are responsible for their emotions and relating to family and friends on that level.
For teachers to be successful, they have to embrace responsibility in all areas of their lives and not just research areas of their own passion. And at times they may have to stay on a “surface” level in order to connect with co-workers or acquaintances, even though it goes against their grain. Teachers have a pulled-back, “wait-and-see” attitude too which can be both a strength and a weakness.
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