Sunday, November 16, 2014

This week's lesson (November 15-21): the humility of heavenly wisdom

Who is wise and understanding among you? Let him show it by his good life, by deeds done in the humility that comes from wisdom. But if you harbor bitter envy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast about it or deny the truth. Such "wisdom" does not come down from heaven, but is earthly, unspiritual, of the devil. For where you have envy and selfish ambition, there you find disorder and every evil practice. (James 3:13-16, NIV)
I love it when I'm the smartest one in the room.

When I preach or teach, after all, I should be sharing something my audience doesn't have -- something they didn't know about until I came along.

And if I do this on a regular basis, then I get used to the idea that I know more than they do . . .

Which is kind of a neat idea -- the kind of idea I could learn to enjoy.

Given enough time and practice, as a matter of fact, I could easily begin to believe that:
  • I know more than anybody about almost everything . . . 
  • And its my job to let everybody know about all the things I know so much about . . . 
  • Which is why I should have the last word in every conversation, every group discussion, and every decision that needs to be made by anyone, anywhere, at any time.
Fortunately, I've enough common sense to know this isn't true.
What's more, teachers, coaches, college professors, youth pastors, seminar leaders, and Sabbath School teachers are smart enough to know that students must learn how to learn for themselves-- that's why all they try to be "a guide from the side" rather than just "a sage on the stage."

Then too, really smart people know just how stupid they are -- just how much they don't know, and how much they still need to learn . . . even from their students.

In short, real teachers are smart.

But they know they have room to grow.

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