We loved you so much, we were delighted to share with you not only the gospel of God but our lives as well. (1 Thess. 2:8)

We have teachers who teach, and we have teachers who invest. The first do their jobs, often quite efficiently. The second also do their job but so much more. They take the time to genuinely listen when their students talk. They initiate contact when they believe intervention may be needed. They get involved, regardless of how messy the situation may become. They pray for their students. They invest their time—personal as well as professional—their finances, and their love in those they teach. They remember them years later and inquire about their lives—not just politely but because they honestly want to know.

Paul’s life demonstrated his concern for those he touched in ministry. In a manner similar to a loving parent, he taught, confronted, mentored, encouraged, and did whatever else he believed necessary for people’s growth as citizens of God’s kingdom. Hard issues did not intimidate him. He stayed in touch through letters, reminding them of his ongoing prayers and his gratefulness for God’s work in their lives. When he could not see them as often as planned or desired, he took the time to inform them. Although never claiming perfection, he tried to lead a life worthy of imitation.

Do you know anyone like that? What about you? Every day you affect the lives of others. Will they know God because you crossed their paths?

Write a thank-you note to someone who positively impacted your life.

Diana C. Derringer teaches Sunday school and serves with her husband as a friendship family to international university students.

© 2019 Wesleyan Publishing House. Reprinted from Light from the Word. Used by permission.