Be-Attitudes for Teachers: A Devotional for Sunday School & Other Bible Teachers
And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless until the day of Christ. (Philippians 1:9-10)
You need more than knowledge to effectively teach. As a teacher of God's Word you are transmitting a content of truth but it isn't good enough to merely "know" what the Bible says. Nor is it enough to expect your students to simply "know" God's Word. You will not, however, take your students beyond rote recognition of truth unless it has been a part of your own experience.Knowledge must be coupled with insight, according to Philippians 1:9-10.
You need to see beyond the words -- beyond the facts.
This is not a de-emphasis of truth. You do not want to raise Biblically illiterate students. Nor is this pure pragmatism or human wisdom. You do not want to nurture a shallow handling of truth. Neither is this a mystical addition to what God has said. You do not want to foster an existential view of truth wherein you determine what is true.
Rather, this is adding depth and substance to our understanding of what is the infallible and all-sufficient Word of God. It is the skillful use of absolute truth. You are learning how to apply truth to the reality of everyday life.
Such understanding is beyond you. 1 Corinthians 2:12-13 says, "We have not received the spirit of the world but the Spirit who is from God, that we may understand what God has freely given us. This is what we speak, not in words taught us by human wisdom but in words taught by the Spirit, expressing spiritual truths in spiritual words."
As you depend on the Holy Spirit, allowing Him to fill and control you, you will be an insightful teacher. You will be able to show a skeptical world how relevant and practical God's Word is to their everyday living and choices.
Taking your students far enough in their understanding of truth is one of the most loving things you can do.
That is why Paul's prayer is "that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight." Love needs to know what is best so as to follow what is in the interest of all concerned. Love must do what is right so as not to be a stumbling block.
Teaching calls for discernment. Without knowledge and depth of insight, you will not be able to properly discern.
For Teachers: The next time you prepare a lesson, study the Scripture with the goal of going beyond the content to acquiring insight into that truth. Fervently pray for wisdom and understanding before you begin to study. List at least three implications of the truth to your own life and also three ways it is relevant to your students.
For Leaders: Evaluate your curriculum to make sure it goes far enough. Use curriculum that is not only doctrinally sound but rich with insights into how the truth is relevant and applicable to one's life.
For Group Use: After presenting this devotional, work on some Scripture passages in small groups. You could divide by age level and use Scripture from upcoming lessons. For every truth they can suggest from the passage, they must list an insight on how it relates to life.
(Last updated 1/01/20)