Contrary to popular belief, the spotlight burns. It sears for at least two reasons. The first is that the spotlight allows the enemy to ignite worldly lusts. Temptations are rife in the midst of seeming power. Egos grow and greed escalates.
Having these sins ablaze within will ultimately result in serious self destruction from which one might never retrieve a believably decent reputation ever again.
On the other hand though, this same spotlight can serve to set aflame the fires of refinement. Once placed in the spotlight, one might encounter the weight and gravity of the spiritual implications and expectations. For the person desperately seeking after God’s own heart, and not vain glory, the spotlight will serve to illuminate all the moral and spiritual failings that reside within that person. This vision of one’s own inadequacy can then be the catalyst for self evaluation and prayers to be better molded and shaped into the likeness of the Son the spotlight is designed to highlight.
It is a rather unfortunate truth that many people seek the stage to line their own pockets and boost their personal morale and agendas. However, a true servant of God never takes this kind of position lightly. In fact, it has been this writer’s experience that those who are most reluctant to step into the spotlight are often the most aware of the truth found in James 3:1, “Not many of you should become teachers, my brothers, for you know that we who teach will be judged with greater strictness.” (ESV). The judgment that follows one into the spotlight is a hard one indeed. This is possibly why so many who feel its burn end up torched.
Teaching is an honorable gifting but it is one with serious ramifications, especially as it applies to the spiritual well-being of those under the teacher’s care. Many a teacher has fallen and been decimated by the weight of the responsibility. Some have been able to beg forgiveness and stand again, but they are often tremendously reluctant to give that gifting another chance in their lives. And, rightly so. They have seen the carnage perpetuated by that burning spotlight and they’ve no desire to be part of that again.
Yet, we see in Scripture, that God has a certain proclivity for fallen people. Especially those whose stories, whose carnage, once shared, can serve to bring Him great glory. He is not reticent about taking the prostitute to save His men and women. He does not hesitate to make a murderer a leader. And, He is perfectly fine allowing someone who denied Him more than once to be the one who feeds and tends His sheep. But, those previously wayward souls must have come to an understanding about Who the spotlight is for and just how incapable they are without Him. He can only elevate those He has humbled.
It is my experience that a true teacher understands her significant limitations and only approaches the spotlight with vast amounts of hesitation and extraordinary faith. Begging that when the light is turned on, no one will even see her standing there, only Christ who lives within. Because, if it is ever about her, those burns will expose all the other scars and she will have done more damage to her Savior’s Name than all her previous faults and failings combined. Teaching is no joke because no matter how, the spotlight burns.
Featured Image by: Justin See (coming back)- SpotLight (Flickr)