The Everyday Girl Guide to: James and My Life (James 3:1-2)

July 9, 2013

Today’s verses are one reason why I don’t know that I’d ever want to style myself a teacher of adults:

3 Not many of you should become teachers, my fellow believers, because you know that we who teach will be judged more strictly.We all stumble in many ways. Anyone who is never at fault in what they say is perfect, able to keep their whole body in check.

James 3:1-2

I suppose, if I had any wisdom, I wouldn’t want to be a teacher of children, either.  Still, you can only fight so long against what you were born to do; I’ve been teaching kids since I was a kid and I’ll likely go on teaching until I die.  That makes today’s verses particularly cautionary for me, though.

I once took part in a discussion about whether pastors should be allowed to be divorced.  It’s very hard in today’s American society for a pastor to not be divorced.  But this verse clearly states that those who are teachers will be judged more strictly.

I don’t think this verse is saying, actually, that you can’t teach if you’ve sinned.  Everyone has sinned.  Some of the best teachers are those who have been set free from what we identify as a great sin (a fallacy, but one most of us ascribe to). 

I think this verse is telling those who aspire to teach that they are going to be judged more harshly by other Christians and the world.  Look at Jimmy Swaggart, Amy Grant, or Jim and Tammy Bakker.  If you set yourself up as a teacher (or anyone in the spotlight), you set yourself up to be judged.

I don’t think God judges more harshly for any sin, nor does more severely for any person.  Every single person faces the same temptations.  Every single person, other than Christ, sins.  Christian leaders, though, will be judged by those who watch them.

More than the big sins, though, Christian leaders and teachers will be judged by what they say.  Don’t believe me?  Look at Paula Deen, who doesn’t even stand for the Christian community.  Look at our political leaders. 

I don’t ever want fame; I don’t want to be put into that position where I will be judged more harshly than I am now.  But even without fame, I need to watch my tongue– what I say or post.  That’s what I’ll be remembered for when my actions are long forgotten.

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