For Ladies

The J-O-Y Of Teaching

Cindy Thomas

For the past 27 years, I have found a joy in teaching. I have been a public school secondary mathematics teacher. Most importantly, though, I have been a Bible class teacher for all of those 27 years.

One lesson that I, like many others, share with students is the acronym J-O-Y: Jesus first, Others second, and Yourself last. It is ironic that we teach this to the young, but many of us do not put it into practice ourselves. I find it as a major reason most of us, as Christians, should be involved in the Bible class program.

Jesus is the first reason we should be teaching Bible classes. I feel I have a responsibility to teach: first, because it is a commandment. Matthew 28:19 states that we should “teach all nations.” Surely, that should start at our home congregation. What better way to obey this commandment than to be a “teacher of babes” (Romans 2:20)? Are we obeying this commandment if we choose not to be involved in the teaching program? If we have the talent and choose not to use it, are we putting Jesus first and his commandment first, the way the acronym states?

Others are the second reason we should be teaching Bible classes. Out of love for one another, we should want to teach. John 15:12 states we are to “love one another.” Teaching a Bible class is a simple way to show others that you love and care for them. One hour a week in a Bible class touches many lives at the same time. You not only show love for the children in the class, but also you show love and encouragement to their parents and family. Romans 13:8 supports our need to do this. “He that loveth another hath fulfilled the law.”

Yourself is the third reason we should be teaching Bible classes. I teach Bible classes so that I can study to show myself approved unto God (2 Timothy 2:15). Teaching a Bible class gives me an opportunity to have a regular study time each week prior to the Bible class. In public school, a common belief is that you do not truly learn something until you teach it to another. 1 Timothy 4:16 supports this. When we continue in the doctrine, we save them that hear us and, in doing this, we save ourselves.

The joy we have in teaching is a blessing from God. Psalms 94:12 states “Blessed is the man whom You instruct, O Lord, and teach out of Your law.” Do not let any commitment outside of the church, any person in the church, or any unconfident feeling rob you of this blessing. The apostles give us an excellent example to follow in Acts 5. Even after they were beaten and told not to speak the name of Jesus, they “ceased not to teach and preach Jesus Christ.” Share in the J-O-Y of which we teach the children to take part.

Teach for Jesus first, Others second, and Yourself last. –919 West King Street, Martinsburg, WV 25401.

(Editor’s note: Sister Thomas teaches at Hedgesville High School in Berkeley County and serves as Mathematics Department Chair. She was recognized as the 2008 Berkeley County Teacher of the Year and was a 2008 state finalist for West Virginia Teacher of the Year. She is a member of the Central church of Christ, Martinsburg, WV, where, over the last 27 years, she has taught nursery, toddlers, elementary ages, teen-age girls, and adult ladies classes.)

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