by Richard Mansel, managing editor
Teaching requires that we yield a part of ourselves and step away from our comfort zones. Teaching is a fearful thing for many people and they dread it. Nevertheless, Christianity is a taught religion (Matthew 28:18-20) and requires a significant sacrifice.
Naturally, our minds, ever quick to rationalize, will look for an avenue of escape. James appears to provide one:
“My brethren, let not many of you become teachers, knowing that we shall receive a stricter judgment” (James 3:1, NKJV).
However, before we sprint into the shadows, let us see what James meant. Would the Lord’s own brother betray the Great Commission and the mission of his Lord?
Nestled in the context of faith and works, this admonition is steeped in humility before God (James 4:10). The dangers of the tongue follow our text before merging into a discussion of wisdom and understanding.
James is trying to encourage his readers to grow, realizing the grave responsibilities that come from teaching God’s message.
We must be filled with humility, love and respect for the Word so we can share the gospel message with the world. The great commission is for all and we utilize our skills and opportunities to put Jesus before the world (Ephesians 3:20-21).
Realizing that the Word comes from God, man must bow before it (John 1:1-5,14; 2 Peter 1:21; Jeremiah 1:9; 2 Timothy 3:16-17). We yield our stubborn will to Christ’s message (John 12:48). The consequences are too staggering to consider (Galatians 1:6-9).
The admonition here is to prepare ourselves spiritually and intellectually. We learn the Word and make it a part of our being so we can be powerful teachers (Psalm 119:89-96; Psalm 119:169-176).
God demands that we purge sin from our lives so that they will not distract from the gospel message (Matthew 7:1-5). The price is too high to place our own ego before God’s will.
Before we dare teach–whether publicly or privately–we must allow the Word to penetrate our own lives (Hebrews 4:12) before we turn it on others.
We must strive for purity, so the message can be heard as God intended. When we become transformed (Romans 12:1-2), the Word will be rejuvenated in a lost and dying world.