Our son and family from Oregon were here last week. The many things we packed into the week included, of course, a couple sessions on the tennis court, for our annual mixed doubles competition. Now, however, our grandson is 7 and has had some tennis lessons, so wants to participate. On Monday nights we hold a free Tennis Clinic here on our new community courts so Grant helped me teach while Luke got to take a lesson. Later in the week when we were playing our doubles match we sent Luke and his little sister, Lacey (who will be 5 in September) on an adjoining court to play. We looked over and here was Luke giving Lacey a tennis lesson, including racquet grip, how to stand and how to prepare to hit the ball. Oh for a video camera at the time. Lacey was finally successful in getting her first ball over the net and she screamed in excitement, much like a few days earlier when she caught her first fish (the subject of the previous “Wisdom of the Week.”)
I was reminded of what Paul wrote in the second letter to his understudy, Timothy: “You therefore, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus. And the things which you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses, these entrust to faithful men, who will be able to teach others also” (II Tim. 2:1,2). He laid down the principle of passing on what we learn to others who will do the same. That was not a principle unique to just the New Testament. In the book of Psalms we read this: “For He established a testimony in Jacob, and appointed a law in Israel, which He commanded our fathers, that they should teach them to their children. That the generation to come might know, even the children yet to be born, that they may arise and tell them to their children, that they should put their confidence in God, and not forget the works of God, but keep His commandments” (Psa. 78:5-7). We are obviously especially to pass on our faith and our learning from God’s Word to our own family. But it shouldn’t stop there. As we take in and grow in the knowledge of Scripture we should also be giving out. We should be a channel through which God’s Word flows, not a reservoir in which it is stored. If we just sit and soak we sour. To stay fresh in our Christian walk, we need to be giving out as well as taking in. God blesses us that we might be a blessing.
When I got started coaching tennis about 25 years ago, I didn’t really know a lot about the game. I had played at tennis throughout high school and a bit in college, but never really had any formal instruction, so as I taught tennis, I had to be learning along with the students. I continue to do so. I have found the same is true in my Christian life. When I started teaching Bible studies some 40 years ago, I realized how little I really knew. Folks would ask questions I couldn’t answer so it forced me to dig and come up with answers. It was a great motivation to growth, and has continued to be all these years. It seems we grow most when we start teaching others, and it is never too soon or too late to get started. Just work hard to keep growing right along with those you teach. Most of the time you will learn lots more than they do.
Just think of what would have happened to Christianity if, at some point, folks had stopped sharing what they were learning. Where would we be? What will happen to future generations (if the Lord tarries His return) if we are not faithful in passing on our faith and knowledge of Christ and His Word? Well, take a look at the spiritual condition of Europe today and you get a picture. That appears to be where our nation is also headed if we who know Christ don’t get with it and starting “passing on” our faith and our knowledge of God’s Word. As long as God leaves us here, we should continue to share the gospel and to help others grow in their faith. There is a vast amount of work to do. The job will never be done until eternity begins. Do you have others with whom you are sharing and to whom you are teaching God’s Word? If not, I would challenge you to do so. It will really help your spiritual growth and you will be excited about your Christianity.