“Not many of you should become teachers, my fellow believers, because you know that we who teach will be judged more strictly” (James 3:1). What a harsh message by the Apostle James! However, the truth is hard to hear at times. The context of James’ statement is simple – teach without selfish pride, teach without personal motive, teach like Christ taught! Too often we read about an unscrupulous teacher who has darkened the profession by doing something extremely counter to what he/she should be doing. Public classrooms are full of students who have never experienced the love of Jesus Christ; students who wouldn’t know where to begin with such a relationship. As James suggests, talking about being a Christian is easy, but to live it out wherever you are is the difficult challenge. Christian teachers are always on mission! Everyday! It matters how we respond to negativity. It matters how we react to setbacks. More importantly, it matters that we show Christ in what we do, not just in what we say!
Dr. Brian Horn is chair of the education department and associate professor of education at Dallas Christian College.