An authentic faith is not an appeal to our gullibility

Mark 9:2-13. The transfiguration of Jesus

Even after the transfiguration, Jesus insisted to the Apostles not to divulge what they have witnessed, at least not before the Son of Man’s death and resurrection. This speaks to the importance of timing and one’s personal journey of discernment in encountering God.

I have heard heartbreaking stories about teachers fooling or abusing students. Even worse, I have heard of a certain Christian Living “teacher” abusing students. This is akin to the abuse of Catholic priests we have heard in the news. (Before I continue my reflection, this paragraph is not meant to generalize what a few rotten apples have done to the teaching profession and the priestly vocation. I have learned so much from the insights of various mentors and spiritual counsellors at different stages of my life.)

My takeaway is that an authentic faith is an invitation to engage in deep reflection that culminates in a personal commitment to virtue and the Common Good. On the other hand, an inauthentic “faith” can be used by “false teachers” to take principles out of context and make another blindly comply with authority.

Having taught in high school, I realize that it is easier to impose and expect full compliance from angsty, emotional, impressionable, and gullible teenagers (haha… This hurts because looking back, this applies to my own student teenage life!). But if I keep on relying on this kind of power as a teacher, what would separate me from the rotten apples who may have relied on the same power dynamics and abuse their students?

Teachers bear a literal life-and-death responsibility, because our words may shape the views of our students. At least in the Philippine society, I’d like to believe that teachers are respected, and students often place faith on us. Their lives could be literally on our hands.

Thus, an advice I would give to my teenage student self:

“Real teachers invite you to reflect, and to be a healthy skeptic of some sort (to counteract your teenage gullibility). They don’t aim to impress your impressionable tendencies (and, you are gullible even if you don’t think you are!). Real teachers express their views but do not impose; and they encourage you to own your decisions.

“Real teachers do not appeal to your gullibility and emotions, but to your sense of authenticity and discernment.”

If I would be able to teach my younger self, hopefully, he can call me one of his real teachers.

(Shoutout to the real ones, Pax Et Bonum and Animo La Salle po sa inyo!)

[DAILY GOSPEL INSIGHTS AND REFLECTION FOR MANAGEMENT AND ORGANIZATION 50: FEBRUARY 19, 2022]

1 reply
  1. timothy barnes
    timothy barnes says:

    This is a real teacher truth identity and show the kind of compassion and emotional one should have. You presentation was excellent and need to read by all teachers. not only the good, but by all.

    Reply

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