"Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom…" - Colossians 3:16
We all know that some of the greatest lessons in life are not given by those designated as teachers. The great lessons in life are not confined to classrooms and lecture halls. The Christians at Colossae, a city in S.W. Asia Minor, were admonished to teach one another in word and deed.
The charge to teach others the lessons we've learned in life points to at least two important things. Firstly, it means that we all must graduate from the status of being mere recipients of the Gospel and take responsibility for sharing the Gospel by our own life's example. The Apostle Paul understood that evangelism and Christian education were much too broad a responsibility for a certain class of religious clergy to take on by themselves. So Paul called every believer to share in the ministry of Christian education.
Secondly, Paul understood that the only real way to build a community, in which real learning could take place, was to give believers the responsibility to teach one another. The African proverb says, "It takes a village to raise a child." This means that the learning of values does not begin or end with those who possess teaching certificates or clergy credentials. True education takes place in homes with committed parents and relatives. True education happens when neighbors share resources and responsibilities that are vital to community growth and enhancement. Real education takes place when responsible individuals serve as mentors and counselors and life coaches to others who are trying to find their way.
I've heard it said that "Those who can do, and those who can't teach." But I know that's not true. It is precisely that which God has blessed us to do: the mandate to teach others. The only question is, what life lessons will we teach others through our attitudes and actions today?
Dear God, we are thankful for the rich investment of the Gospel that you have placed in us. Now make us more than grateful recipients; make us useful instruments of divine instruction. Amen.
Kenneth L. Samuel is Pastor of Victory for the World Church, Stone Mountain, Georgia.