Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Devotional: Looking for Approval as a Teacher

Imagine driving home after teaching the Bible to your group, asking your spouse, "How did I do today?" and receiving the response, "It was o.k. but . . ." The mistake here is asking for a critique without really wanting one. Next mistake, asking someone who will be honest with you. Evaluating our teaching is not a bad thing, but when we teach with the motivation of looking for approval as teachers it will most likely take us down a road we should never venture.

For they loved praise from men more than praise from God. 
(John 12:43, HCSB)

Those referred to in this passage were people who were so concerned about the praise of the Pharisees and being banned from the Synagogue that they would not confess Jesus publicly. Many were leaders at that time, yet the approval of men became more important than the message of Christ.

As I think about my role as a Bible study teacher and a leader in the church, I realize I must guard myself from seeking the approval of men over sharing the truth of God's Word. You see, if approval of men trumps the approval of God, I am communicating that people are more important than God.

What can seeking the approval of men lead me to do? It could lead me to:
  • Compromise God's Word.
  • Twist the truth in God's Word.
  • Avoid teaching the whole council of God.
  • Replace God's Word with popular subjects and authors of our day.
While people are important and evaluation of our effectiveness is vital, we must be careful not to measure our effectiveness by the approval of men.

Father, while listening to wise counselors is important, may I never quit asking you, "How did I do today?" It is your approval that is most important!