Scripture- James 3:1-5 NASB
Let not many of you become teachers, my brethren, knowing that as such we will incur a stricter judgment. For we all stumble in many ways. If anyone does not stumble in what he says, he is a perfect man, able to bridle the whole body as well. Now if we put the bits into the horses' mouths so that they will obey us, we direct their entire body as well. Look at the ships also, though they are so great and are driven by strong winds, are still directed by a very small rudder wherever the inclination of the pilot desires. So also the tongue is a small part of the body, and yet it boasts of great things. See how great a forest is set aflame by such a small fire!
James 3:13 NASB
Who among you is wise and understanding? Let him show by his good behavior his deeds in the gentleness of wisdom.
Observation - In this book by James, brother of Jesus , who was leading the church in Jerusalem, he obviously felt it necessary to write these words of instruction and direction likely because the early church was facing challenges with the teachers in the church. The challenge sounds as if they had too many people not ready to be teachers who were becoming teachers. He points out this role of teacher is no easy task and will come with greater responsibility and stricter judgment. This is because the delivery of teaching to the body of Christ can either lead them to Christ's mission for the church or can lead them away from it. Harsh or selfish words can lead people away from the church, or down a path of self righteousness and self service, vice humble submitted service to God, with a grateful heart.
Application - This scripture hit home because I have long desired to be a great teacher. Each year I recall hearing James' warning and think, am I qualified? Often throughout the year, I find myself disqualifying myself because of my behavior. I understand in most cases I am simply stumbling, but of recent I realize that while grace abounds with God, in the roles and positions he is placing me in organizations there is much less room to stumble and the consequences are greater and greater as God continues to elevate my in positions of authority and influence. I must continue to become self aware and self regulating to ensure that the words coming out of my mouth, honor God, and are spirit led. I must ensure they are in accordance with His word, and are able to meet the truth that James lays out here in that they are delivered with "good behavior " and with a "gentleness of wisdom".
Prayer - Dear heavenly father, thank you for your word, presented by your servant James. I need help with this one big time. I pray that you would have your holy spirit work in me, to continue to remove in me all stumbling blocks to being a God honoring teacher. I pray Lord for a growing in me the gift of teaching both in art and heart. I pray all this in Jesus name, Amen.