Teachable Teachers

I remember this man at my yard sale in Winston-Salem over thirty years ago. He saw a number of commentaries I had for sale, stood facing me, his legs in a stance like he was braced for a hurricane. He pointed his finger at me and challenged,

“What is your position on Acts 2:38!?”

I forget what I answered, or what he answered, except that it was somewhat abrasive. He was poised for a hermeneutical harangue. But it is funny that I still remember him after all these years. Maybe because it reminds me of an attitude that I have seen all too often. I have done it myself: Started a discussion and downgraded to an argument.

I have slowly come to understand that the people I learn the most from are those gentle spirits that shine more light then generate heat. And there are good verses on this topic.

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control;”
Gal. 5:22-23

“Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves. You will recognize them by their fruits. Are grapes gathered from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? So, every healthy tree bears good fruit, but the diseased tree bears bad fruit. A healthy tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a diseased tree bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Thus you will recognize them by their fruits.” Matt. 7:15-20

“And the Lord’s servant must not be quarrelsome but kind to everyone, able to teach, patiently enduring evil, correcting his opponents with gentleness. God may perhaps grant them repentance leading to a knowledge of the truth,” 2 Timothy 2:24-25

From these verses we see that spiritual teachers demonstrate spiritual gifts. Carnal teachers have no choice but to show their carnal attitudes. This is, of course, a general rule. Spiritual teachers certainly have their off days and carnal teachers and false prophets can muster up a virtue or two when occasion really demands. But when we get to know different teachers over a period of months their true center becomes obvious.

Recently on certain Christian Facebook pages I have seen this principle at work. A teacher – a self-appointed expert on a certain doctrine, by an unspiritual demeanour, discredits whatever position he is teaching, whatever books he is selling.

About asterisktom

I breathe, therefore I blog.
This entry was posted in Bible. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.