Until now. This week we have studied chapter 3. And chapter 3 verse 1 of James is one that most teachers of Scripture know. “Not many of you should presume to be teachers, my brothers, because you know that we who teach will be judged more strictly.” (James 3:1 – NIV)
I have read and heard this verse for many years. I’ve been a teacher since I was 16 years old. I began teaching Sunday School with 4th and 5th graders. Then just out of Bible College I began teaching women, along with children and adolescents.
I understand that teaching is not something to take lightly. Not only as I lead women in studying God’s Word, but even as I write this blog, I am teaching.
So this passage is always in the back of my mind.
But in this study, I’ve learned more about this verse and I’d like to share some of what Beth Moore has to say about it.[i]
She reminds the teachers who are studying this book that there are “a handful of land mines that go with the territory.” Here are the things she shared:
The temptation to teach more than we know.
The capacity to mislead.
The capacity to be misled.
The temptation to use the platform for personal agendas or opinions.
The demand for self-discipline.
The pride and humiliation.
Oh my. Yes there are some “land mines” that go along with teaching. These will lead to disaster.
But Beth Moore doesn’t stop here. She encourages those who feel led to teach to teach. To be honest, there is nothing else a teacher can do except teach.
She makes another statement that I am living proof of. “God often likes to teach the bigger lesson to the teacher.”[ii]
As I prepare to teach or lead or write, I know the extra weight I take upon myself. I know that each sentence I speak or write will be critiqued. I know that what I say must be truth.
That is why I dig into God’s Word more and more to find those truths. If it isn’t in God’s Word, I will not put it to pen or into words. I’ve had to rethink some of my own beliefs because of this very task.
I’ve found that some things that I’ve been taught in the past don’t line up with God’s way of thinking. If it doesn’t line up, it cannot be true.
I am also a firm believer that you, as a student or reading, should not take everything I say or write for complete truth. I am human. I make mistakes. I would urge you to evaluate all that is read in my blog. Study it to make certain that my words line up with God’s Word. In doing so, you’ll be growing yourself and gaining new wisdom and insight into Scripture.
Are you a teacher? I pray that you have a greater understanding of your role in light of God’s Word.
Do you sit under a teacher? I pray that you are not presuming that teacher knows all. Take the time to understand God’s Word for yourself.
Regardless of which role you are playing, know that it is God’s desire for you to hold His Scripture close to your heart, to understand what He has to say, and to obey all that God has placed within Scripture.
Psalm 119 is filled with verses to give us examples of this truth. Psalm 119:11; Psalm 119: 16; Psalm 119:28; Psalm 119:43; Psalm 119:74; Psalm 119:103; Psalm 119:105; Psalm 119:114; Psalm 119:130; and Psalm 119:161.
And although my words may not be perfect, God’s Word is flawless. “The words of the Lord are flawless, like silver refined in a furnace of clay, purified seven times.” (Psalm 12:6 - NIV) See Psalm 18:30 for further confirmation.
Psalm 33:4 (NIV) tells us “For the Word of the Lord is right and true; he is faithful in all he does.” God’s Word will not fail us. He is always right. He is always true. He is always faithful.
Today as we study, teach or listen to God’s Words being presented, keep in mind that we each have a responsibility. To know the Bible. I pray that you’ll find great joy, many blessings, and deeper devotion because you are reading and studying God’s Word.
Grace and peace be yours in abundance,