Teaching Right Things
November 22, 2011
I have a question. Who here likes to be right? I’m imagining a classroom full of people from all ages and all kinds of backgrounds raising their hands. When it comes right down to it, I think we all like to be right. None of us (hopefully) would make the claim that we just love to be wrong. “I go through life just trying to get everything wrong. Gives me such a rush!” That line of thinking just does not make sense.
We have groups of people who believe they are completely right and everyone else is 100% wrong. This happens politically, religiously, even in the way the people decide to parent their children. Don’t think that this does not happen under the Christian umbrella. For instance, Mormons would say that they are Christian. In fact on the show sister wives (of course I was only watching it because my wife wanted to, not for my own enjoyment. There got that out of the way) someone told them they were not Christians and one of the wives said she had wanted to scream back, “Yes we are!” However, for most of the Christian community we would look at their lives and say they were not, according the the revelation given to us by God… not Joseph Smith.
Different denominations argue over what is right and wrong. It is amazing to me how many differing ideas there are out there!
This makes it very intimidating for someone who teaches the Bible. Not just because there are so many differing ideas but also because James 3:1 says, “Let not many of you become teachers, my brethren, knowing that as such we will incur a stricter judgment.” Stricter judgment?! James goes on to say how what we say and even what we do (“able to bridle the whole body as well”) is extremely important!
Teachers have a large influence over their students. When a bad teacher is present, sometimes even great students struggle to get the right answers. This is why as a teachers of the Bible we need to be very careful in the things we say and how we live.
I have been doing some thinking about this passage and I believe it refers to more than just Preachers, Youth Ministers, Associate Ministers, or Worship Ministers. This passage alludes to all who teach: Elders, Deacons, Sunday School Teachers, and Parents. All of these roles require that we teach the Word of God to the current and next generation.
So what should we be doing? We should be checking our lives to make sure they are in sync with God’s Word. This requires that we are reading our Bibles. We should be in community with other believers. This will help us talk about the things we are reading or hearing on Sunday morning. The more we talk about it the more answers to questions we are likely to have.
Take this responsibility seriously. Nothing is more important than our standing with God and right up there on the list is how we are passing on what He says. I know that people have been studying the Scriptures for a long time and still cannot agree upon everything. Try studying it without your preconceived ideas (I know that is not easy) and see what God really has to say, and maybe not just what your parent’s or teachers have always told you.
Being a teacher is so rewarding, but it is also a huge responsibility. Look at it as such and may God bless you as you seek Him out.
Who is it that you teach? What are you doing to ensure you are teaching right things?