High Expectations by Virgil Stripes
James Chapter 3 — There is so much in this small passage. Let’s break it down into smaller pieces. Over the next few devotions in this series, we will look at the practical advice and warnings James gives his audience.
Not many of you should become teachers, my brothers, for you know that we who teach will be judged with greater strictness. For we all stumble in many ways. And if anyone does not stumble in what he says, he is a perfect man, able also to bridle his whole body. If we put bits into the mouths of horses so that they obey us, we guide their whole bodies as well. Look at the ships also: though they are so large and are driven by strong winds, they are guided by a very small rudder wherever the will of the pilot directs. So also the tongue is a small member, yet it boasts of great things.
James warns the early church that those who wanted to be, or considered themselves, teachers need to be sure that what they were teaching, and their actions, needed to be spot on. He lets them know that those who desired to teach, would be held to a higher standard than others. Not only are we responsible for our actions, we are responsible for the actions of others, as they follow what we teach.
To take on the challenge, the difficult task of teaching esp. God's Word is admirable, but brings with it a weight that we should consider. Yet it is one of the most rewarding things as well. When we learn from someone, and they see that we get it, they feel like it is all worth it.
Then there is the tongue... We -- especially if we desire to be leaders/teachers -- should pay attention to what we say. People are watching the church, and especially the leadership. So let us be the best example we can be.
May God guide all those who are teachers, and may He give them wisdom and courage to lead others in the truth, regardless of how difficult it is.