For the lips of a priest ought to preserve knowledge, and from his mouth men should seek instruction -- because he is the messenger of the Lord Almighty.
Malachi 2:7 (NIV)
There are some things that just ought to be. One of them is that a priest ought to preserve knowledge. Out of a priest's mouth, there should be a flow of instruction. This just ought to be. I know that things are different now than Malachi's time. But I think that the principle is the same. And I am thinking specifically of teachers and pastors.
As a teacher, I know that whatever happens in my classroom, under my watch, teaches something. I usually summarize it by saying, "What happens, teaches." I picked this phrase up at some point in the last 5 years of teaching, but I can't remember where now. The point is that it is totally true.
It puts a whole new perspective on what I allow, and what I don't allow.
For example, let's say that I tell a class not to talk, and then a few minutes later there are a couple of girls in the back talking. To teach grace, I am gracious. I might allow them some mistakes, with no consequences. I might even let things go for awhile, but if it continues, there is something else that needs to be taught.
Obedience is important to God. It matters to Him. He tells us in more than one place that we should obey the authority that He sets over us. If I allow the disobedience to continue without anything, I am teaching, first of all, that this is OK with me. And then through that I am teaching that this is OK with God.
My life as a teacher ought to be a preservative of truth. The beginning of verse 8 says this,
But you have turned from the way and by your teaching have caused many to stumble...
I hope that my life will not be one that causes others to stumble, but one that leads others into the truth.