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#ElevatedFriday, March 9th, 2018

Happy #ElevatedFriday! Today we highlight the story behind the story of a broadly publicized recent event. The teacher’s strike in West Virginia captured news attention for last couple weeks as the teachers pursued a pay raise. Fortunately for them, the West Virginia government acquiesced to their demands and the teachers came out on top. But during this strike, as the teachers were not present to teach, the students were not in school to learn. Such disruption has its consequences, but unsurprisingly, the ever-prepared and relentlessly thoughtful teachers had a plan to mitigate one of the major consequences of such action. Many families rely on subsidized meals at school for their children, some of whom enjoy their only balanced meal of the day from the school cafeteria. With school out of session unexpectedly, this left these many students in jeopardy of not receiving the meals they needed. These teachers went above and beyond for their students even while protesting for their pay raise – the teachers packed and delivered hundreds of meals to their students by means of local churches, non-profits, and even some door-to-door deliveries, ensuring their students would not miss a meal on their behalf. Such thoughtfulness during a time of struggle and uncertainty by the teachers truly showed where the teachers’ priorities resided.

There are times in life when we have opportunities to seek more, whether it be money, success, influence, or otherwise. When opportunity knocks on our door and we answer, it is easy to forget that every action has a consequence. It is not a sin to pursue success honorably, but in that pursuit, we can inadvertently allow things to happen in our periphery that we later regret. Jesus calls us to take care of one another and strive to live peaceably with all, so long as it depends on us. In Philippians, Paul summarized this by saying, “Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.” This serves as a reminder of our purpose on earth – to praise Jesus by living in harmony with others. The teachers of West Virginia showed this concept powerfully to the whole nation, that we should never forget our purpose in our pursuit of success. Today, reflect on how your career and life goals will affect those around you and how you can support them as you pursue success.

“Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.” – Philippians 2:4 ESV

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