Then the word of the Lord came to me. He said, “Can I not do with you, Israel, as this potter does?” declares the Lord. (Jer. 18: 5–6)
Expanded Passage: Jeremiah 18:5-6
When I was a sophomore in high school, I had a wonderful literature teacher. He had a fun-loving and relational teaching approach. I learned a lot from him about writing as a career. He developed assignments that focused on creative writing, journalistic writing, and even writing in a marketing setting. Like any high school teacher, his duties included more than just teaching and lecturing. He had to have a robust plan for classroom management, and his was truly unique.
Whenever his students crossed a line, whether through disrespect or a lack of focus, he would let the class know that he was about to shed his funny and light-hearted approach in favor of “teaching mean.”
For days, he would be in “mean” mode. He would refrain from joking with students. There would be no tolerance for distraction. The mood of the whole class changed. Eventually, he’d stop, and the jovial literature teacher would return.
Was this the wisest strategy to keep control of his class? I’m not sure. But I am sure that this teacher had complete control over the class experience of his students. God told Jeremiah that Israel was a lump of clay in his hands. God had total control over Israel—as he does over us. This idea shouldn’t be frightening, however. We know that God is good. His control over our lives should be a comfort.
God has complete control over our lives. Let that be comforting.
Stephen Simpson is a graduate of Wesley Seminary. He has served at Wesleyan churches—in one form or another—since childhood.
© 2023 Wesleyan Publishing House. Reprinted from Light from the Word. Used by permission. Scriptures taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®.