Not many of you should become teachers, my brothers and sisters, for you know that we who teach will be judged with greater strictness. For all of us make many mistakes. Anyone who makes no mistakes in speaking is perfect, able to keep the whole body in check with a bridle. (James 3:1-3)
A colleague once remarked that he had listened to me present an hourlong webinar and didn’t once hear me say “uh.” He asked how I did it, and I answered that I did it on purpose. I practice my presentation skills constantly.
We who teach aim “to make no mistakes in teaching,” even though we know all too well our own failings. We know we are not always able to “keep the whole body in check.”
Because we who teach practice how to present ourselves and our subjects, we may create a picture of ourselves in our hearers’ minds that is more polished, more poised than our true self.
James reminds us essentially not to believe our own press releases or our own Facebook statuses.
We who teach will be judged with greater strictness because the distance between our facade and our failings is so much greater.
Though I do not like being judged or corrected, I realize that it is a necessary part of becoming the best teacher I can be, a man who is at one with his subject and at peace with himself.
I am thankful for those around me whose judgment, correction, and insight provides me with the rigor and strictness I need in my life as a teacher.
I believe that though the passage may sound almost like a threat it is really as the comment suggests more of an exhortation to those who have been graced with the Spiritual Gift of Teaching!