Not many of you should presume to be teachers, my brothers, because you know that we who teach will be judged more strictly.It is interesting that the role of teacher is addressed and not other ministry gifts. There is something about public speaking that is seducing. As I am sitting here thinking about this I am not sure that I want to go where I need to go ... here goes anyway.
For about 15 years I spoke regularly at a very large charismatic church ... I spoke in an extemporaneous ‘prophetic’ fashion ... more times than not I would leave the platform hearing wild applause and cheering ... looking back it was a very surreal experience. When I left that church in 1995 I went through years of what I would call public speaking withdrawal. So much of my identity and my life was wrapped up in speaking publicly on Sunday morning (and other times). The notoriety and the power of public ministry was intoxicating ... it was like a drug ... and I was an addict.
In Albert Barnes’ Notes on the Bible he says this about James 3:1 ...
“Be not many of you teachers.” The evil referred to is that where many desired to be teachers ... the evil reprehended is that of seeking the office of public instructor ... It would seem that this was a prevailing fault among those to whom the apostle wrote. This desire was common among the Jewish people, who coveted the name and the office of “Rabbi,” ... This fondness for the office of teachers they naturally carried with them into the Christian church when they were converted, and it is this which the apostle here rebukes."In light of this I find myself challenged every day to watch over my heart ... to place in check my desire to be known ... to be in a place where I can be used in ministry without being addicted to the intoxication of it. I preached on Tuesday at the city jail to about 15 men ... I found it to be somewhat underwhelming ... a good experience of sharing my heart ... felt like I was serving. Jesus said it best:
"If anyone wants to be first, he must be the very last, and the servant of all." -Mk 9:35Lord Jesus help us to be servants in whatever we do ... give us hearts to be 'the very last'.