Professor Howard Hendricks once related a story of how as a student he often walked by the home of one of his college professors. It seemed at all hours day or night the light would be on in the man’s study. One day he had the opportunity to ask him what kept him studying so much. The teacher replied, “Son, I would rather have my students drink from a running stream than a stagnant pool.”
Thank God for good teachers. The Bible mentions teaching as a spiritual gift. If we were smart, we would recognize that there is never a time in our life when we don’t need to be around spiritual teachers. None of us have reached the place where there is nothing new for us to learn. If we think we have “arrived”, we obviously rode the wrong bus.
Have you ever sat in awe as someone eloquently explained a concept that you were not able for whatever reason to grasp? Suddenly what they share makes sense and seems so simple. Great teachers do more than just impart information they enable understanding! They deposit a joy for learning and strong convictions by their nonverbal and verbal behavior. They are fulfilled through their students who apply what they have learned. Great teachers are well prepared and humble about the influence they wield. James, the brother of Jesus wrote, “Not many should become teachers, my brothers, knowing that we will receive a stricter judgment,” (James 3:1). Great teachers believe this. They recognize that what they do is sacred. To shoddily impart information defrauds the minds of eager learners. By position and by persuasion they have the power to corrupt or reform.
When I think of great teachers I think of Dr. Alfred Glenn. When Al taught at Bethel (West) he didn’t settle into a shaky session of mind-numbing babble. It was obvious that he prepared his material and that he took delight in making us think. He challenged our views. He brought the real world into the classroom so that when we left our sterile chairs we knew how to apply God’s Word on the street.
We live in a day when many mediums compete to shape our opinions and values. God knows how much we need the advice and wisdom of gifted teachers. Is your gift teaching? If you are chasing pursuits that will burn at the expense of sharing eternal truths I hope you will come to your senses. The body of Christ needs you—now more than ever. If you’re not an instructor but you know someone faithfully laboring to teach God’s word, share how much you appreciate the sacrifice he or she makes for others. Without teachers, we don’t know what we don’t know.
Proverbs 19:20--Listen to counsel and receive instruction so that you may be wise later in life.
2 Timothy 1:11--For this gospel I was appointed a herald, apostle, and teacher.
We teach what we know; we reproduce what we are.—Robert Schmidgall, Leadership, Vol. 6, no. 2.
©2001 Daniel York ARR. Reveration is the weekly devotional ministry of First Cause. If you would like to receive these devotionals go to www.firstcause.org and click on the “Click here to receive weekly devotionals” box. Unlimited permission to copy this devotional without altering text or profiteering is allowed subject to inclusion of this copyright notice.
Ecclesiastes 12:10-The Teacher sought to find delightful sayings and to accurately write words of truth. (Holman CSB)