Last Sunday, it was truly a pleasure to teach the children at my church after several weeks away. We’d had two weeks of services canceled because of bad weather, and we missed another week because of attending a memorial service for the son of a fellow firefighter (my husband is a lieutenant for the fire department of a nearby city).
Teaching those kids is a joy, but it comes with great responsibility.
Earlier last week, prior to our class together, I came across this passage in Jeremiah, regarding false teachers who led the Israelites astray.
Thus saith the Lord of hosts, Hearken not unto the words of the prophets that prophesy unto you: they make you vain: they speak a vision of their own heart, and not out of the mouth of the Lord. They say still unto them that despise me, The Lord hath said, Ye shall have peace; and they say unto every one that walketh after the imagination of his own heart, No evil shall come upon you. – Jeremiah 23:16,17
The prophets of whom the Lord spoke remind me of some modern Christian leaders, who emphasize only the positive messages of Scripture (or present a passage with their personal interpretation), while neglecting uncomfortable passages about sin and hell.
God forbid that I should be like them, intentionally or accidentally teaching those under my care a “vision of my own heart.”
It would be easy to teach about David and Goliath and blow right by David and Bathsheba, or to talk about Jesus’ beautiful life, without discussing his violent death.
But the children in my class must understand the wages of sin, and all that it cost the Father and the Son (always in a way appropriate to their ages, of course).
In the famous “suffer the little children” passages, Jesus spoke of the need to become as the little children gathered around him, with their simple, humble, and earnest faith.
But do you know the rest of the story? Jesus concluded with a warning.
But whoso shall offend one of these little ones which believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea. – Matthew 18:6
To offend here means “to cause to stumble,” according to biblehub.com.
So, as I teach my own children in our homeschool setting, and others’ children at church, I have a great responsibility to study thoroughly and be prepared to present the full truth of Scripture, so that I may not mislead them.
Have you ever felt inadequate when teaching or discussing the Bible? How do you handle such situations? As always, I appreciate your taking the time to leave your insightful comments.