Don't criticize and speak evil about each other, dear brothers. If you do, you will be fighting against God's law of loving one another, declaring it is wrong. But your job is not to decide whether this law is right or wrong, but to obey it.
James 4:11 TLB

I guess the desktop was comfortable, because his head was on it each and every day. Jay rarely looked up at me, and if he did, it was with disdain. I was interrupting his beauty sleep! Sleeping in class is a form of rejection to any teacher. It doesn't help us feel good about students when they do this. I decided I should seek the counsel of his last year's teacher. Maybe together we could figure Jay out.

"He's a slacker. That's all there is to it," she told me in unequivocal terms.

"I don't know him well enough to assume that," I said.

"Well, I do, and believe me, it's a waste of your time trying to reach him."

I was stunned. How could she be so defeatist? There had to be something inside this sleepy seventh grader. I did what my mother always told me to do-I took what this bitter (yet Christian) teacher said with a grain of salt and moved on.

It took persistence, a thick skin (on my part), and praise (a lot of it) to reach Jay. And it took love.

It took more than half of the school year, but Jay finally stayed awake in my class. In fact, he actually did some work on a daily basis. Jay responded to praise, but only private praise. Public praise was humiliating, so I avoided it.

To know God is to love Him. Getting to know Jay didn't help me to love him. I had to love him first.

Reaping the Harvest
If you know God, you love God. God knows us, and even in our state of being unlovable, He loves us. Because we know God's love, we, too, can love the unlovable-with our words and in our deeds.

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