November 6, 2014

1 Timothy 1:7 They want to be teachers of the law, but they do not know what they are talking about or what they so confidently affirm.

This isn’t simply a put-down, it is a cautionary note to all teachers. I’ve run into quite a few who fit this description, teaching all sorts of subjects. The phenomenon can certainly be seen today in the area of “climate disruption,” as they are calling it these days. Many who are “at the forefront” either don’t understand what they are talking about or they are consciously lying, one or the other. However serious that might be because of its effects on society, what Paul is talking about is even more so because it influences people’s relationship with God, and not just other people. Any teacher of the Bible must have a deep humility along with a hunger for more of God themselves, or they will deceive themselves and their hearers. I am grieved, as I am sure God is, to hear Bible teachers attacking other Christians. It is one thing to point out perceived error; it is another thing entirely to dismiss people who love God as though they weren’t part of His family. Pride takes many forms, but one of its prime characteristics is blindness. The more pride we have, the less we can see ourselves, others, and yes, God accurately.

This certainly applies to me, since I am both a pastor/teacher in the Church and a teacher in secular schools. I can think of examples in the secular arena when I “confidently affirmed” something on which I was mistaken! A teacher must first be a learner, whatever they teach. I must never be afraid to say that I don’t know something, however much I enjoy being “the one who knows.” I must always remember that my knowledge is imperfect, especially when I am sharing that knowledge with others. As James said, those who teach will be judged more severely. (James 3:1) I must always be submitted to the Holy Spirit, knowing that it is He who will teach me all things. (John 14:26, 1 John 2:27) I am to be His instrument, and not think that I myself am the authority.

Father, thank You for this reminder. It’s sobering. Help me walk in the humility You desire of me, sharing faithfully what You have shown me without placing myself above others. Help me understand myself the words that You speak through me, applying them to my own life rather than running around pointing fingers. May my words and my actions draw people to You, for their edification and encouragement and salvation, for Your glory. Thank You. Praise God!


About jgarrott

Born and raised in Japan of missionary parents. Have been here as an adult missionary since 1981.
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