Bring on the drum line. The trumpets. The firing squad. I'm marching, exposed, before the world to declare that I don't know it all.
Whenever I begin studying a new book of the Bible, it always blows me away. Or, I should say, the Holy Spirit blows me away. I've read the Bible cover to cover. However, even some atheists have done that. Does reading all 66 books of the Bible mean that I remember everything I read? No. Does it mean I am an expert on the subject? No. Does it even mean I understood everything I read? NO, NO, NO. The Bible is the Word of God. God is infinite. I can study until Jesus comes back or God calls me home and I will not understand everything. There are always new things to be revealed. When I take the time to study a book in depth by itself, the Holy Spirit opens up the doors to my head and heart so it can sink in. That doesn't mean I "get it" all. It does mean that I am grateful each and every time for the new concepts about our Heavenly Father that He teaches me when I open the pages of His word and really dig in.
I have taken a few Beth Moore Bible studies in my life. Then Precepts entered. Once you learn the precept upon precept method of studying the Bible, complete with hours of homework that is extremely revealing, it's sometimes hard to sit through Bible study that's not as in depth without feeling like you want to go deeper. I'm not trying to sound arrogant in any way. I just want meat most of the time, not milk. I felt led to take the study on James from Beth Moore at this point in time with a great small group of ladies, and oh, am I ever thankful! It is the best series put out by Beth Moore that I have ever taken. There's my shameless plug. If it's offered in your area, sign up!
This week's lesson was on teaching. Now, I went to college to become a teacher. I've been an elementary school teacher, a pre-school teacher, a tutor, substitute, and now a homeschool teacher. My parents were teachers. You could say it's in my blood. That's not exactly the kind of teaching that I studied this week. It's Bible teaching. I've been a Sunday School teacher or Wednesday night teacher for a lot of years. Led girls' Bible studies. Taught Scripture to my children. Written thoughts for all to read pertaining to my Christian walk on this very blog! I know how fallen I am. I know my shortcomings. That doesn't mean everyone else does.
James 3:1-5 says, "Not many of you should become teachers, my brothers, for you know that we who teach will be judged with greater strictness. 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. If we put bits into the mouths of horses so that they obey us, we guide their whole bodies as well. Look at the ships also; though they are so large and are driven by strong winds, they are guided by a very small rudder wherever the will of the pilot directs. So also the tongue is a small member, yet it boasts of great things. How great a forest is set ablaze by such a small fire!"
In the study, we discussed some of the things that can happen to teachers. Keep in mind, this is a list compiled by Beth Moore, not me, but I agree with these temptations.
1) The temptation to teach more than we know.
2) The capacity to be misled.
3) The temptation to use the platform for personal agendas or opinions. I love her quotes here on this subject: "Sometimes we can assume we've walked with God so long that every 'religious' thought we have is from Him. Untrue. The best advice is to feverishly seek the filling of the Holy Spirit so that, when we cross the line, we feel conviction."
4) The demand for self-discipline. LOVED this one. "A decent teacher has to study. Hard. One of the signs of a teaching gift is an unexplainable thirst to study followed by the difficulty of keeping to yourself what you learned. A teacher who doesn't like to study is a talker. Don't mix up the two." ***This is sooooo true!
5) The pride and humiliation.
6) God often likes to teach the bigger lesson to the teacher. That happens a lot to me.
7) The human judgement.
8) Stricter divine judgement.
9) Others stumble with us.
Alan and I are currently Sunday School teachers to the high school students. Hello! Impressionable ages? I think yes. Our youth group leaders and high school Sunday School teachers had a lot of influence on us. We are also teachers to our children. We have so much to learn. But we also love children and are eager to embrace them and tell them how much they are loved by God.
Dear God, we come humbly before you to ask you to forgive us for the times we have led others astray by teaching that did not represent You. Give us wisdom in the future whenever we speak to someone about your grace, mercy, and redemption. Maintain a hunger in us to study your Word and fill us with your Holy Spirit to understand what we read. May others see Your precious Son, Jesus, through us. In Jesus name, Amen.