Q. Recently I have had a friend come to me with struggles and I have directed him to forget all of his “bible answers” and truly search for God. He grew up in church as I did and I told him to go back to basics and find what truly makes him believe and that it would strengthen him. Was I acting like a teacher? I don’t wish to have harsher judgment placed upon me, I only wished to help him and I feel as though I was led to tell him this. Can you describe just what being a teacher means?
A. James 3:1 says, “Not many of you should presume to be teachers, my brothers, because you know that we who teach will be judged more strictly.” The word translated teacher means one who teaches concerning the things of God, and the duties of man. I don’t know if you were acting like a teacher or not because I don’t know if you were trying to instruct Him on the meaning of Scripture. I also don’t know if by “Bible answers” you meant actual scripture.
What I do know is that the Bible is the authoritative source for the basis of our belief, and that’s the place where we search for God. Paul said that Faith comes from hearing the Word of God. (Romans 10:17) We can hear by listening the the Bible being read or by or by reading it ourselves. In advising your friend to search for God, you should send him there.