Dear brothers and sisters, not many of you should become teachers in the church, for we who teach will be judged more strictly. (James 3:1 NIV)
Dear Lord, please help those of us who teach your Word to stay true to all that you are saying. It is a sacred honor and trust you have given to us, and we must be faithful servants, carrying your message accurately, in all that we do and all we say. As Paul advised Timothy, "Preach the word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke, and encourage—with great patience and careful instruction" (2 Timothy 4:2 NIV). Let us be diligent in our study and faithful in our application.
HYPOCRISY AND SINFULNESS
Friends, there is so much hypocrisy today in the church. As it was in the days when Jesus physically walked the earth, so too today, there are many who claim to follow Christ but are putting on a false appearance of virtue they do not actually possess. Many teachers of God’s Holy Word contradict their stated beliefs, values, and feelings with their hidden behaviors. Using pornography, lying, slandering others, emotionally abusing spouses or family members, and other hidden sins may go unchecked for years. What’s worse, many of these teachers grow in popularity while they are living these hypocritical lives.
Jesus Himself warned us about such behavior, saying, “How terrible for you, teachers of the law and Pharisees! You pretenders! You clean the outside of a cup and dish. But on the inside, you are full of greed. You only want to satisfy yourselves” (Matthew 23:25 NIRV). This stark reminder calls for a deep self-examination and a commitment to authenticity and holiness.
AUTHENTICITY AND OBEDIENCE
Anyone who teaches God’s Word must live their lives in obedience to God’s Word as found in the Holy Bible. Our actions on the stage of public life have to be congruent with our behavior behind the scenes, with our closest relationships, and with Christ Jesus Himself. The apostle James warns, "Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says" (James 1:22 NIV). It's not enough to know the Word; we must embody it, letting it transform us from the inside out.
In this journey, let us not forget the grace that our Lord Jesus Christ offers. We all fall short, but His love and forgiveness are available to us. As we teach, let us also be humble learners at the feet of Jesus, constantly seeking His wisdom and guidance. "But by the grace of God, I am what I am, and His grace to me was not without effect. No, I worked harder than all of them—yet not I, but the grace of God that was with me" (1 Corinthians 15:10 NIV).
ACTIONS TO TAKE
As we strive to live a life free from hypocrisy, let's encourage one another, hold each other accountable, and pray for the strength to live out the truth we teach. May our teaching not just be with words, but with a life that echoes the love, truth, and holiness of our Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.
Your aspiring servant, Daniel M.
January 2, 2024
POSTSCRIPT: Dear friends, if this daily, transparent “Conversations with Christ” blesses you, please go to www.SOLIDpastors.org, where you will find these posted, and a repository of all, in English and Spanish. If you ever want to chat, you can reach me at Daniel@SOLIDpastors.org. May Christ bless you richly as you have your own intimate, daily conversations with Christ.