Not many of you should become teachers, my brothers, for you know that we who teach will be judged with greater strictness. – James 3:1
Recently, yet another prominent Christian leader was found to have been living a double life for years. His failure impacts a worldwide ministry and hundreds of thousands if not millions of people around the world. How does this happen again and again? The answer is pretty clear. Humankind is flawed and by flawed I mean depraved. Every one of us has the potential to disappoint and destroy lives, but there is still a need for teachers.
Over the years, I’ve had the opportunity to teach in a variety of situations, but specifically concerning the Christian faith and so I recognize the importance of the verse above. And I am reminded again of these words spoken by Christ in Luke’s Gospel –
“From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked” (Luke 12:48b),
Those who teach bear the responsibility of doing more than just teach. We are expected (by everyone) to put those things into practice. Jesus knows of all my (many) failures and some of them are evident to others and so I also take to heart the next words from James –
For we all stumble in many ways. And if anyone does not stumble in what he says, he is a perfect man, able also to bridle his whole body. – James 3:2
James is leading into a discussion of the most dangerous weapon in our arsenal and we will discuss that more in the next couple of days, but let each one of us remember that someone is learning from us in one way or another, whether we hold a position in ministry or not. We should take our responsibility seriously, don’t you agree?