Teaching the Words of the Teacher

“[Kids] don’t remember what you try to teach them. They remember what you are.” ― Jim Henson

This is to every teacher I have ever had who has walked the very miles they talked. You have impacted/inspired me as I am sure you have so many others.

Jim Henson was not a believer, yet many unbelievers have uttered some truly profound truths that can cause the believing mind to think, to become inspired, to act. The truth to this I believe is that who we are will be reflected in what we teach. There are several layers to this, especially for a believer, but learning comes not just what is in our head, but also the lives we lead. In one sense or another we are all teachers. This goes doubly so for believers. As we live life and experience putting truth into practice first hand we will continue learn and in turn others will be taught from what we have done This is a neat cycle because at any given moment we can in whatever capacity be student, teacher or even both! For Christians this means allowing Christ to work in our minds and hopefully impacting our lives. Christ is the Teacher, the definite article of a teacher, and that teacher is in us. Who we are and what we live for will be expressed as we teach others so should we not be certain our motives for teaching are in Him? Teaching requires selflessness as much as any other task or quality of a Christian.

(Luke 6:39-40 ESV)   [39] He also told them a parable: “Can a blind man lead a blind man? Will they not both fall into a pit? [40] A disciple is not above his teacher, but everyone when he is fully trained will be like his teacher.

As we teach and lead others we must do so through Christ first and foremost. If we teach in our flesh out of our own agenda we are potentially doing more harm than good. I would love to someday be a teacher who has the reputation of having all the answers and beyond in my given field and seen as a clever intellectual above all. There is something wrong here. Teaching others should not be for intellectual swagger, achievement, or a boost to the old self-esteem, but out of a desire to see others be impacted by the very truths that have made impact on us. For the Christian that means teaching God’s word, whether relationally or within the classroom setting, to best of one’s ability, depending on Him to communicate what needs communicating. This means depending on Christ as our teacher and the word of God learn solid truth equipping us so that we can relay it to others without leading them astray. The further we know God the further we can teach about God. Our willingness and pursuit of learning as a student dictates how we will teach as a teacher. What we learn now serves our ministry later on. A sheep who has wandered astray with no idea how to get where he needs to be should not attempt to lead other sheep with him either, for if he cannot lead himself how can he lead anyone else. They need a shepherd!

(Romans 2:17-24 ESV) [17] But if you call yourself a Jew and rely on the law and boast in God [18] and know his will and approve what is excellent, because you are instructed from the law; [19] and if you are sure that you yourself are a guide to the blind, a light to those who are in darkness, [20] an instructor of the foolish, a teacher of children, having in the law the embodiment of knowledge and truth—[21] you then who teach others, do you not teach yourself? While you preach against stealing, do you steal? [22] You who say that one must not commit adultery, do you commit adultery? You who abhor idols, do you rob temples? [23] You who boast in the law dishonor God by breaking the law. [24] For, as it is written, “The name of God is blasphemed among the Gentiles because of you.”

What we teach as believers will be validated in the life we live. If I speak out against sex before marriage then go swanning off only to sleep around every night, my words are going to have very little credibility. We are human, obviously we will not always consistently live out what we believe and teach, but that should never ever stop us from trying. A teacher is someone who speaks not from theory, but from actual practice. I can talk to students or people all day about perseverance, yet the concept cannot be driven home if I have never had to persevere in a situation that needed such. Knowing is not the same as doing. Christ proved this. Every single principle he presented for His followers to live He lived himself. After all that is a good leader/teacher right, a person who holds their self to the same standards they teach or bestow upon others? At the same time we must be open to being good learners. If we do not want to fall into stealing we must learn how not to steal before we teach about not steal. This may mean landing into the school of hard knocks, but by dependency upon Him we will learn. Who wants to learn about finding fulfillment in God by a person who is unfulfilled? This should cause us to strive to be teachers who walk by the words we talk. It is a given that we will at some point fail at this, but even in our failures there are many great lessons to be learned teaching ourselves on top of teaching others.

(Titus 2:6-8 ESV)   [6] Likewise, urge the younger men to be self-controlled. [7] Show yourself in all respects to be a model of good works, and in your teaching show integrity, dignity, [8] and sound speech that cannot be condemned, so that an opponent may be put to shame, having nothing evil to say about us.

We should strive to live a life to reflect what we believe. God uses us as a beacon to His glory and as a result the transforming work of Christ is given reality in the lives of those who follow Him. God does not have to do this, but He does, and that is brilliant. Forgive us God for not loving you for that fact enough!  Again we are not perfect and a life of perfection is still some time off, but that should never stop us from trying. Christ is all we have of value in this big ole universe, and if that is all we have that is worth anything, why not grab hold even in the times where we do not value Him the way we should? Every story and every scar is going to serve in how we teach others for the rest of our lives. The more we trust him as students, as learners, the more effective we will be in teaching as teachers. If we truly want character, confidence, integrity, Christ, if we dearly and truly want what He can do in us, we will pursue Him for it no matter what the cost. When others see Christ actively in us it is likely He will use our life to impact their life all the same.

Often I am useless at both learning and teaching, all I can do is cling to the hope that He will take my uselessness and make me useful. In that hope, in those thoughts to press on we must do just that and move forward.


About Chronology of Chris

-In Christ -Student of Life, Theology, Philosophy and Education -Avid reader (C.S. Lewis, Alvin Plantinga, Francis Schaeffer, James Sire, Martin Luther, Luis de Molina, Gordon D. Fee, David R. Anderson, David Kinnaman, Arthur Conan Doyle, Charles Schulz (Peanuts), Bill Watterson (Calvin and Hobbes), Hunter S. Thompson, Douglas Adams, J.R.R. Tolkien, Jean Paul Sartre, Soren Kierkegaard, etc.) -Amateur philosopher -Field researcher for this privilege called life -Defined not labelled -Silly, yet serious -Knowledgeable and experienced -People over facts( facts have their place), souls over figures -More than an "about me" box can contain -His will, not mine
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