In the family (that’s the family), students make better teachers than teachers.
We are both student and teacher…. always learning, always teaching. The newborn begins life (that’s the new life) as a student, keen to learn. Let’s call this youngster a Student-first. Unfortunately, the Student-first often evolves into a Teacher-first. Not good…. very not good.
A Teacher-first itches to educate more than to be educated. He has forgotten to, “Be swift to hear, slow to speak.” To be heard is more needful than hearing.
Pulpit-people, it seems, are Teacher-first people. Not always, but mostly. They have been conditioned to speak much and listen little. To be influential is nobler than being influenced. Theirs is a life of exhorting, encouraging, persuading, prodding. Conversation is not their thing.
Lord Jesus was a teacher, but not Teacher-first. He spoke what He heard. (“The Father who sent Me has commanded Me what to say.”) Father and Son were attuned, One to the Other.
A Student-first is a more effectual teacher than the Teacher-first because she has been listening…. to her teacher…. the Lord Jesus. She knows not only what Lord Jesus has said, but what He is saying. Holy Spirit connects her to Him.
A Student-first, then, is a student first and teacher second. You find this brother/sister sitting, like Mary, at the feet of the Master, satisfying their thirst to know Him and His ways. Their need to expound is far less than their need to be nourished, and being in His company more desired than being influential.
Teacher-first fancies an audience. Bigger the audience, higher the high. If many are unavailable, an audience of one or a few will have to do. Serious repentance is required to recover the high ground he once held as a Student-first.
If you are now a Student-first, never surrender this lofty ground. A Student-first – in a conversation or behind a pulpit – is a force for Christ. Only the Christ-centered can communicate Christ. Lord Jesus can work through humility.