I’ve had some good teachers in my life. One particular high school teacher comes to my mind. This teacher let me know when I did a good job, but she also let me know when I should try harder. I accepted her criticism because I knew she had my best interest at heart and because I knew she knew her subject. Both of these qualities were crucial because without either, I could not trust her. No matter how much she liked me and wanted to help me, her criticism would not have been helpful — and likely would have been harmful — if she needed corrected herself. Similarly, the right criticism delivered with the wrong attitude probably would not have helped me much either. A good teacher must be both caring and knowledgeable.
And that’s true not only of schoolteachers but also of spiritual teachers. All Christians at one time or another will be put in the position of teacher. We will not all stand in front of a class, but all of us will have to answer questions, both from believers and nonbelievers. Some of us may also have to correct fellow Christians when they fall into error. When we do, we need to make sure that we do so with a caring attitude and that we do so with a knowledge of God’s Word. If we omit either of these points, we will almost certainly do no good and will quite possibly do harm.
Let’s imitate Christ, the greatest teacher who ever walked the earth. No one has been more caring or knowledgeable than Him.
“Let the words you speak always be full of grace. Season them with salt. Then you will know how to answer everyone.” Colossians 4:6