I stumbled upon this picture earlier and it really moved me. As someone who loves to win the argument I need to be careful that winning does not become about proving someone wrong, but instead about revealing to someone what is right.
The distinction between those two things is minor and really it all comes down to attitude. I may be able to quote the verses and rattle off the bullet points, but if I ever forget that I’m talking to a soul, then nothing else matters.
I think that’s part of the meaning behind this statement by James:
My brethren, be not many masters, knowing that we shall receive the greater condemnation.
The KJV translation uses the word “master” but the original meaning is “teacher.”
The writer is warning us to be careful as teachers. Usually that warning is limited to “be careful what you teach” and while that is an important warning, it’s equally important to be careful how I teach.
If someone comes to me with a Bible question, I immediately become that person’s teacher. There is a great burden on me to make sure I help them find the truth in such a way that puts the spotlight on the word of God and not on myself. If ego gets in the way, or if a childish desire to win an argument takes over, then it’s very likely the person seeking the answer will be turned off and turned away from learning God’s Word.
And then not only will that lost person remain condemned, but James plainly says I will receive “the greater condemnation.”
We all need to be careful to make PREACHING the truth more important than rubbing it in someone’s face.
See you all Sunday for worship!