Say Don’t Say: The Perfect Man

“Not many of you should presume to be teachers, my brothers, because you know that we who teach will be judged more strictly. We all stumble in many ways. If anyone is never at fault in what he says, he is a perfect man, able to keep his whole body in check.” (James 3:1-2)

Is it okay to have a least favorite verse in the Bible? Probably not. But James 3:1 always makes me feel uncomfortable. I do a lot of Bible teaching. I don’t like the idea of having a stricter judgement because of that (and I’m not completely sure what it means).

fishmouth_350It makes sense, though. God takes His Word very seriously. I’d better make sure the words I use to talk about it don’t distort His Word or His character or His truth in any way. His reputation is on the line — and so is my “judgement.”

Here’s the problem: Our words are the hardest part of ourselves to control. The odds of sinning increase dramatically every time we open our mouths to speak. Why? Because we’re sinners on the inside, and our words can be like live footage from the darkest parts of our hearts.

Think: How would someone presume to be a teacher in an unhealthy way? Have you ever been misled about God’s truth by the words or actions of a well-meaning Bible teacher?

Pray: Ask God to help you to know when and if you should take on the job of teaching His Word — and ask Him to help all of your Bible teachers to teach it — and live by it — as right as possible.

Do: Ask someone you know who teaches the Bible how this verse makes him feel — and what he does about it.