Well, then, what are we supposed to do? Are we then to be laissez-faire?
Not at all.
It was a Christmas take home exam with 20 questions. Yuck, right? The good news was that we could work on it in groups and as a class, so our senior year Christmas break consisted of a lot of calculus parties. (Is that an oxymoron?) That’s how we celebrated Jesus’ birthday: doing calculus!
So we all worked together. We divided and conquered. We learned and brainstormed and sharpened one another and did our best to conquer this crazy ‘present.’
And as we were nearing the end and getting ready to turn it in, one person found an error, so we starting calling each other so everyone could fix it. (Yes, we picked up a phone and called. No texts. No group e-mails – this was pre-e-mail days. Weird, huh?)
We were all so grateful that someone realized we were doing something incorrectly and made us all aware so that, if we wanted, we could change our approach. And of course we wanted! We wanted to do our best before the ‘judge.’
So with all this group work going on, you can imagine what the grades looked like. We all pretty much got the same grade.
One member of our class figured out we did something wrong on a problem. But he didn’t tell anyone else. He just turned it in.
So when our teacher handed back the tests, he announced that everyone pretty much got the same grade.
Except for this one student.
He did better.
You could just feel the stomachs drop in the room.
And the collective gaze that pondered, “Why didn’t you tell us?”
I mean, 5 points is 5 points. I’m not sure anyone really cared about having 5 more points… as much as they cared about a teammate who knew we were doing something incorrectly. A teammate who knew we would submit our Christmas break’s life before the ‘judge.’ A teammate who knew the ‘judge’ would find us at fault. A teammate who knew we could be sharpened – and knew how to sharpen us – and who did nothing about it.
We wanted to do our best before the ‘judge’ and reflect all he’d taught us as best we could. We had all spent so much time together as a team sharpening one another. We were a team. Betrayal may be too strong of a word, but it was not a happy moment.
It was, however, valuable.
When I am aware of something that can sharpen another person, that can help us be a stronger team, that can help us better reflect our Teacher, that can help us stand ‘perfect’ before our Judge, oh dear! I certainly don’t want them to look at me one day with an incredulous gaze of “Why didn’t you tell me?”
If I love them, and I want what is best for them, and I want what is best for us, and I want what is the best reflection of our Teacher for His glory, then yes, indeed! You better believe I want to tell them.
Not as a judge.
Not to condemn them.
Not because I think I’m better than them. I most certainly am not!
But because I seem to be aware of something that can be helpful before the Judge. And because out of love and care and compassion, I want what is best for them, for us all, and for His glory.
So I share to make them aware. At best – at times – as a humble coach.
So one day when it all adds up, we can thank each other for being a teammate. A teammate who sharpened us. A teammate to whom we can say, “Thank you for telling me!” Not because it gets us more points. But because it draws us closer to the likeness of the Judge.
And nothing is more glorious than that! Exponentially glorious, that is : )