“Not many of you should become teachers, my brothers,
for you know that we who teach will be judged with greater strictness.”
Think Before You Teach
In our TheologyGirl-ReformedWomen groups, we have been studying Carol Ruvolo’s “James on Works” which I would highly recommend for women’s Bible-Book studies. I always enjoy Carol’s studies because she “digs deep” and is on target, bold and straightforward on the subject matter at hand. I like that in a teacher because I believe it is the only true and faithful way to teach without compromising the very doctrine we support. As women, we like to “go on bunny trails” or “take the heat off” of something that is convicting and/or “righting” our wrong doctrine or application. Therefore, we are called to be “sound” teachers and not novices of God’s Word and doctrine so that we can be strong and courageous in our teaching and be ready and able to bring forth truth with our minds and mouths. As a women’s Bible-Book teacher for many years, I can attest to the trials of teaching and the often-times persecution that comes with being faithful in being strong in Reformed doctrine and “speaking the truth” in love. It is an awesome and fearful thing to teach and one must weigh all of the responsibilities of teaching before one embarks on the task. Thus, Carol’s good admonition to “think before you teach” is an important one. Listen to what she says:
“Whenever I am privileged to teach and train teachers, I always begin with James 3:1: “Let not many of you become teachers, my brethren, knowing that as such we shall incur a stricter judgment.” I do that to see if I can scare anyone off–because if I can, chances are good God hasn’t called them to teach. And if He hasn’t called them, they shouldn’t be teaching.
Even though all Christians should be willing and able “to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you” (1 Peter 3:15), not all Christians should be willing (nor are they able) to accept teaching positions in the church*. . . Since teachers mold the thoughts and shape the behavior of saints who will in turn, influence others, the “ministry of communication” has a ripple effect that intensifies every teacher’s accountability before God . . Those have genuninely experienced and acknowledged God’s call to teach will be sobered — if not terrified — by the magnitude of the task, but rarely will they be dissuaded from pursuing it.”
Thus again, the Scripture admonition: “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
*In this narrative Carol is speaking to audience of women in their role of women teaching women in the corporate church although the rules would apply to all who teach.