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.
The third chapter in James is well known for it’s teaching on the tongue. Things are set on fire with the tongue! Verse one seems brief and out of place. “Not many of you should presume to be teachers…” But what if this is not out of place. What if what follows next about the tongue is most readily applied to teachers? Teachers will be judged more strictly, James writes. Maybe that has everything to do with their speech. What we say as teachers is important. How we say what we say is important! If we have influence at all; if there are students listening to us, we must be careful with what we say and how we say it.
It is possible that James is still thinking about teachers when he writes verse 13:
Who is wise and understanding among you? Let him show it by his good life, by deeds done in the humility that comes from wisdom.
This applies to teachers more assuredly than anyone else. Living the life well must precede teaching others about the life of following Jesus.
But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere. Peacemakers who sow in peace raise a harvest of righteousness.
Father, do Your work in me so that Your work can be done through me. This day I live for You. Make Yourself known through me.