Pastor Chris Delmadge
A Good Teacher
“Not many of you should become teachers, my fellow believers, because you know that we who teach will be judged more strictly.” – James 3:1 (NIV)
As we come to the end of Teacher Appreciation week, I would like to extend a heartfelt thank you to all of the wonderful educators that have dedicated their lives towards increasing the knowledge of others. The concept of imparting knowledge to another person, in an effective and efficient way, can be viewed as both a skill and artform. Teachers who are excellent in their craft, possess more than just having mastery in their field of knowledge, but they have an incredible ability of presenting complex issues with such simplicity, that those who are under their tutelage tend to increase in their desire to learn more.
Being a teacher is not limited to only dispensing information and knowledge, but a teacher is also responsible for modeling what they teach…especially in the church. Scripture even warns us that teaching is a very high calling, with a high standard of divine critique. “Not many of you should become teachers, my fellow believers, because you know that we who teach will be judged more strictly” – James 3:1 (NIV).
So, we salute those who help shape the minds of the current and next generations. Thank you. Whether you teach in a secular setting, or if you share in a Bible study or Sunday School…thank you. Your labor is not in vain. The Apostle Paul states it this way, “The elders who direct the affairs of the church well are worthy of double honor, especially those whose work is preaching and teaching” – 1 Timothy 5:17 (NIV). Why? Because their lifestyle is speaking louder than their lesson plan. This reminds me of a story that I read by an anonymous author:
An old man meets a young man who asks: “Do you remember me?” And the old man says no. Then the young man tells him he was his student, And the teacher asks: “What do you do, what do you do in life?” The young man answers: “Well, I became a teacher.” “Ah, how good, like me?” Asks the old man. “Well, yes. In fact, I became a teacher because you inspired me to be like you.” The old man, curious, asks the young man at what time he decided to become a teacher. And the young man tells him the following story:
“One day, a friend of mine, also a student, came in with a nice new watch, and I decided I wanted it. I stole it, I took it out of his pocket. Shortly after, my friend noticed that his watch was missing and immediately complained to our teacher, who was you. Then you addressed the class saying, ‘This student's watch was stolen during classes today. Whoever stole it, please return it.’ I didn't give it back because I didn't want to. You closed the door and told us all to stand up and form a circle. You were going to search our pockets one by one until the watch was found. However, you told us to close our eyes, because you would only look for his watch if we all had our eyes closed. We did as instructed. You went from pocket to pocket, and when you went through my pocket, you found the watch and took it. You kept searching everyone's pockets, and when you were done you said ‘open your eyes. We have the watch.’
You didn't tell on me and you never mentioned the episode. You never said who stole the watch either. That day you saved my dignity forever. It was the most shameful day of my life.
But this is also the day I decided not to become a thief, a bad person, etc. You never said anything, nor did you even scold me or take me aside to give me a moral lesson.
I received your message clearly. Thanks to you, I understood what a real educator needs to do.
Do you remember this episode, professor? The old professor answered, ‘Yes, I remember the situation with the stolen watch, which I was looking for in everyone’s pocket. I didn't remember you, because I also closed my eyes while looking.’
This is the essence of teaching:
If to correct, you must humiliate; you don't know how to teach.”
May you continue to be worthy of double honor.
Now that’s Good Word!