Teaching is not a career for the faint of heart. It is not a job for someone to do 9-5 or even 8-4 as some would believe. It is a way of life that consumes. If you have recently become a teacher or have been put into a position as a teacher to others, you will soon realize that teaching is a complete giving of yourself.
What are some motivating factors for people to become a teacher? Besides having the “summers off” and “short” school days, people may want to make a difference in the lives of others, share some knowledge that they feel particularly skilled in or they may enjoy working in a social environment where they are not stuck at a desk all day.
Are we all in an environment where we can teach?
When it comes to our occupations in this life, one should be able to find ways to teach and train those around them in any job. You don’t have to become a primary or secondary teacher or even a college professor to make an impact on people. God has given us a lifetime in this environment on earth to learn, grow, teach and serve. The teaching profession has its challenges, and those who enter that career path are in for a rewarding but strenuous journey that requires true grit.
Should we want to be teachers?
In the biblical sense of the word, James 1:3 James 1:3Knowing this, that the trying of your faith works patience.
American King James Version×indicates perhaps not: “My brethren, let not many of you become teachers, knowing that we shall receive a stricter judgment.” Here it is upfront: If you are to teach, be prepared for a stricter judgment.
God does not take teaching of His Word lightly. In Matthew 5:19 Matthew 5:19Whoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.
American King James Version×Jesus says, “Whoever therefore breaks one of the least of these commandments, and teaches men so, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven.” If you want to teach, beware. However what if you want to be found great in the Kingdom of God? What must you do? The end of the verse gives the answer: “…but whoever does and teaches them [the commandments], he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.”
What else does the Bible say about teaching?
The Great Commission in Matthew 28:19-20 Matthew 28:19-20  Go you therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:
 Teaching them to observe all things whatever I have commanded you: and, see, I am with you always, even to the end of the world. Amen.
American King James Version×says, “Go thereforeand make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you.” As God’s people, we are commanded to make disciples and teach them how to follow God’s way.
Are we given examples of teachers in the Bible?
Christ was our example in everything, including teaching. In Matthew 4:23 Matthew 4:23And Jesus went about all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing all manner of sickness and all manner of disease among the people.
American King James Version×it shows Jesus going throughout Galilee “teaching in their synagogues, preaching the good news of the kingdom...” Christ taught the multitudes in Matthew 5:1-2 Matthew 5:1-2  And seeing the multitudes, he went up into a mountain: and when he was set, his disciples came to him:  And he opened his mouth, and taught them, saying,
American King James Version×in the famous Sermon on the Mount. He taught with one authority in Matthew 7:29 Matthew 7:29For he taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes.
American King James Version×and taught on many more occasions (Matthew 9:35 Matthew 9:35And Jesus went about all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every sickness and every disease among the people.
American King James Version×, Matthew 13:54 Matthew 13:54And when he was come into his own country, he taught them in their synagogue, so that they were astonished, and said, From where has this man this wisdom, and these mighty works?
American King James Version×, Matthew 21:23 Matthew 21:23And when he was come into the temple, the chief priests and the elders of the people came to him as he was teaching, and said, By what authority do you these things? and who gave you this authority?
American King James Version×). He is our example and He was a teacher. Christ says, “You call me ‘Teacher’ and ‘Lord,’ and rightly so, for that is what I am” (John 13:13 John 13:13You call me Master and Lord: and you say well; for so I am.
American King James Version×, NIV). If we are striving to become as Christ, should we not also learn to be righteous teachers?
In contrast to righteous teachers are examples of false teachers in the Bible. A person cannot necessarily know a false prophet by signs coming to pass or not, but whether they keep the commandments of God and walk in His way. As said in Isaiah 8:20 Isaiah 8:20To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them.
American King James Version×: “To the law and to the testimony! If they do not speak according to this word, it is because there is no light in them.” A true teacher will teach the Word of God and point you towards Him. (For more on this subject, see "Many False Prophets Will Arise and Deceive Many" by Tom Robinson).
If you decide to teach, remember what is said in Romans 12:7 Romans 12:7Or ministry, let us wait on our ministering: or he that teaches, on teaching;
American King James Version×: “If your gift is serving others, serve them well. If you are a teacher, teach well” (NLT).
If we are Christian parents, do we have a choice to be a teacher or not?
A parent is already a teacher. The Bible requires parents to “train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it” (Proverbs 22:6 Proverbs 22:6Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.
American King James Version×). Training and teaching our children is to permeate our lives. God says: “And these words which I command you today shall be in your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up” (Deuteronomy 6:6-7 Deuteronomy 6:6-7  And these words, which I command you this day, shall be in your heart:  And you shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise up.
American King James Version×).The Hebrew word for teach here also means “to point,” “to whet” or “to sharpen.” When teaching, prick the interest of the children; sharpen their minds using God’s Word as a guide.
What attitude should teachers have?
If someone asks you a question and you give them an answer, are you not teaching them? God will give you help if you approach it with the right attitude. 1 Peter 3:15 1 Peter 3:15But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asks you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear:
American King James Version×indicates what we should do: “But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts, and always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear.” If we plan to be ready, we should be studying God’s Word in our daily life. We should speak with meekness, fear and humility since every word and action of ours will be taken into account in the day of judgment (Matthew 12:36 Matthew 12:36But I say to you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment.
American King James Version×).
Not to worry! Be anxious for nothing (Philippians 4:6 Philippians 4:6Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.
American King James Version×) as God has sent us help: “But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you,” so speak with confidence (John 14:26 John 14:26But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatever I have said to you.
American King James Version×).
To teach or not to teach?
In sum, teachers are to keep the commandments and be examples to others, including their children, in all of God’s ways. It says,“By this time you ought to be teachers,” teaching the first principles of the oracles of God (Hebrews 5:12 Hebrews 5:12For when for the time you ought to be teachers, you have need that one teach you again which be the first principles of the oracles of God; and are become such as have need of milk, and not of strong meat.
American King James Version×). We “ought” to be teachers of God’s way. Should we be teachers in society? Yes, we are to be examples to those around us, letting our light shine (Matthew 5:16 Matthew 5:16Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.
American King James Version×). Should we be teachers as a profession? It is a noble vocation. Whatever venue we choose, we should strive to always be ready and able to give an answer as well as be a positive, godly example to the world. The answer is to teach.