Reputation of Teachers (from Titus 2, verses 7 & 8):
“In your teaching show integrity, seriousness and soundness of speech that cannot be condemned, so that those who oppose you may be ashamed because they have nothing bad to say about us.” ~Titus 2:7-8
A person’s reputation is something of great value. It is valuable to the person, to God, and if the person is a Teacher, then great value to the Christian school. Paul tells in this passage why it is so valuable, and tells the two ingredients needed to have a valued reputation, the first is integrity (covered on the previous post), and the second is:
- Serious and sound speech
“Serious” means: Requiring much thought or work, of or relating to a matter of importance, not joking or trifling : being in earnest, excessive or impressive in quality, quantity, extent, or degree. (Merriam-Webster)
“Sound” means: Free from injury or disease, free from flaw, defect, or decay, free from error, fallacy, or misapprehension <sound reasoning> exhibiting or based on thorough knowledge and experience, legally valid, logically valid and having true premises, agreeing with accepted views, showing good judgment or sense. (Merriam-Webster)
Jesus said in Matthew 12:34 that “out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks.” So, in our Titus 2 passage, Paul listed integrity prior to good speech for a reason: It is sequential. So that means we need to make sure our speech, what we say and also what we write:
1) Comes from much thought (which takes some time and some work).
2) Is impressive in quality.
3) Comes from sound doctrine (biblical knowledge and experience).
4) Is legally and logically valid, true, and agreeable with scripture, showing good judgment or sense.
5) From a Christ filled heart. It is evident if so, and evident if not.
Ephesians 4:31 says: “Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking be put away from you will all malice.” Do whatever it takes, even drastic measures if necessary, to get rid of those detrimental things mentioned so they do not affect your speech, as well as your attitude and testimony.
Colossians 3:16-17 says we are to “let the word of Christ dwell in us richly in all wisdom, teaching, and admonishing one another.” Wow! That is one serious verse for teachers! Here is another one: Colossians 4:6 says “Let your speech always be with grace, seasoned with salt, that you may know how you ought to answer each one.” (salt purifies, preserves, and ads flavor)
In addition to being the right thing to do, our serious and sound speech should be such that those who oppose us may be ashamed because they have nothing bad to say about us. What a wonderful aspiration for Christian schools! – that your speech is such that no one can say anything bad about you.
The speech of teachers (as well as staff and Board members) in a sound Christian school should silence those that oppose Christianity and the Bible, and to make the gospel of Christ believable.
Copyright 2012 Kevin Brownlee