Not many of you should become teachers, my brothers, for you know that we who teach will be judged with greater strictness. (ESV)
Recently, I had the privilege of visiting two of my favorite teachers that I have ever known. They both live in Florida. One was my professor from Bible College. I had a strict policy when I was in Bible college; whatever this one professor taught I took the class. The other teacher I went to visit was my father. For my whole life he has taught me truth from Scripture.
There is a tremendous value that we can attach to those who faithfully and accurately teach the Word of God. The men I mentioned influenced and continue to influence my life to this day. Their commitment to defending the truth of the Bible has helped me in my faith and enabled me to teach others. Without great teachers I would not be a teacher myself.
James puts things into perspective in this verse. Teaching is not for everyone. Of course, he is talking about teaching the Scriptures. Because of the great influence that a teacher has on a person's life a church must make sure that the only people who are teaching are ones who understand the gravity of the task who will teach what is true and not distort it in any way.
The book of James and many of the other Epistles in the New Testament are written to counter the false teaching which had already infiltrated the young church and caused great devastation. In the short term, we have to address the false teaching. In the long term James is saying that God will ultimately judge those teachers who have taught that which is false and led people astray.
Do you know a godly teacher? Honor them! Do you know a false teacher? Stay away from their teaching and pray that God will humble them and show them the truth. Do you desire to be a teacher? Soberly pray and seek God for his direction.