Wise Teacher

“Of making many books there is no end, and much study wearies the body” Ecclesiastes 12:12

Years ago the book of Ecclesiastes introduced me to the wise teacher. Having “met” this teacher, in chapter 12:9-12, I’ve taken every opportunity to introduce him to others in the hope that they will adopt the five secrets of his success:

Firstly, the wise teacher persevered. In verse 9a the KJV says, “… he still taught the people knowledge.” In other words he never tired of teaching.  He never gave it up. He pressed on despite challenges and obstacles coming his way. He gave his best no matter what happened.

Secondly, the wise teacher spent time in preparation. In verse 9b we’re told that “… he pondered and searched out . . .” He knew that wisdom does not occur in a vacuum. To be wise one must study and keep studying. So he dug into books; he sat and cogitated; and he continually sought people from whom he could learn something new.

Thirdly, the wise teacher attended to planning. In verse 9b we read; “He … set in order.” To “set in order” is to arrange a specified sequence and have every element in its rightful place. The wise teacher did this by ordering his time, arranging his materials, and planning his agenda.

Fourthly, the wise teacher used pleasing words. Verse 10 states that he “… searched to find just the right words, and what he wrote was upright and true.” He wasn’t casual with his choice of words. He thought about every word he used. For he knew that words should be like an instrument with overtones of honour and truth.

Fifthly, the wise teacher produced a harvest. Verse 11 says; “the words of the wise are like goads … like firmly embedded nails …” A goad is a sharp stick for prodding cattle. Thus the wise teacher produced words that urged people along. He drove his teachings into his students and embedded them into their thinking and actions. And he never forgot that “… much study wearies the body!”

Hopefully you’ll learn from the wise teacher. If you have the responsibility of instructing others make sure you persevere in your work, prepare with diligence, plan efficiently, lace your lessons with pleasing words, and aim to produce a harvest to the glory of God.

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