A Position of Influence | Lessons from James

Welcome to Real Life.  When I read this verse, I caught my breath.
 “Not many of you should become teachers, my fellow believers,
because you know that we who teach will be judged more strictly.”[1]

I’m teaching a women’s class right now.  Should I be?  It’s a serious responsibility.  A teacher holds a position of influence.  I must be careful to teach what’s true.  God will hold me accountable.

This verse speaks about the position of teacher in the church.  However in a broader sense, we’re all teachers.  We all wield influence.  You’re teaching me and I’m teaching you.  Every day, we’re learning about life from each other.  A neighbor with lupus never complains.  A friend donates a kidney to a stranger.  A son begins his day reading God's Word.  Unless you’re a hermit, you're life is affecting someone.  You are a teacher. 

What lessons is my life teaching?  Who I am, what I say, and what I do reflect what I believe at the core of my being.  That thought intimidates me a bit.  Thankfully, the next verse offers relief:
“We all stumble in many ways.”[2]

Whew!  No one’s perfect.  God doesn’t expect me to be perfect.  My continual influence should not make me paranoid and obsessive over every little thing I do.  Instead, it should – and does - fuel my desire to lean into God.  In his presence I feel loved, whole, and secure.  My soul is healed.  And when the core of my being is healthy, my actions reflect truth.

“Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.”[3]
My heart is wounded, Lord.  It’s taken some hits.  Please heal me, redeem me, and restore me.  I don’t want to teach lies from a wounded heart.  I want to reflect truth from a healthy one.  Amen.

Something to think about...
  •   What lessons is your life teaching?
  •   Not convinced of your influence.  Try this.  Flash a friendly (not creepy) smile at a stranger.  Do they smile in return?  A simple smile can bring a moment of joy to a stranger.  (Don’t be stingy with your smiles.)
  •   Listen to “Take My Life (and Let it Be)” by Chris Tomlin.  Make it your prayer.

[1] James 3:1
[2] James 3:2
[3] Proverbs 4:23
Image of teacher from: https://encrypted-tbn0.google.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcTmm-nDh3x4id1aqDBuFfT-eIro5QiJeXn16XEguVhf3hbUMEw0

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