The Target of Teaching

There is grace for bad ideas. But judgement increases with knowledge, and especially with passing knowledge on.

The more you have engaged ideas, and the more you teach them, the greater will be your accountability for them.

This is a frightening thought. I love to explore ideas, and I love learning out loud along the way. But I don’t want to be accountable for people I may influence. I don’t mind talking, and quite confidently, about my ideas, but to be judged based on whether they lead others astray? Yikes.

Part of that is a proper humility. Part of it is laziness and fear. I want all the fun of talking about ideas and none of the seriousness of their implications or (mis)applications.

The temptation is to run away from teaching. And maybe in some ways its good to not want to teach others, just like it’s often good to not want to lead others, but respond to it only when called in a way you can’t deny or escape. Of course this orientation has pitfalls too. It’s easy to tell yourself “I don’t even want to do this, but the world simply needs me so bad I must”, a dangerous false humility.

So maybe it’s better to be real about the fact that you like teaching, do it openly, but constantly remind yourself and your pupils that you are just a guy/gal, and you’re learning along with them. You can’t remove your responsibility, but you can pray for grace and try your best to never let a cult form around you or your ideas.