A man making his first skydive was falling through the air, unable to get his parachute to open. Try as he might, it wasn’t budging. In a panic, he yelled to a fellow who was flying up toward him: “Hey buddy, do you know anything about parachutes?”
“No,” the fellow responded. “Do you know anything about propane stoves?”
Sounds like the fellows in that old joke needed to read the instructions before they strapped on the parachute or struck the match to light that stove.
Too often, we want to ignore instructions and do things our way, even when we have no idea whatsoever what we’re doing. Remember when your kids were small, and you dumped that box of nuts and bolts and pipes and chains and various other parts onto the driveway and set about putting together a swing set, ignoring the instructions altogether.
Then, when you had gotten thoroughly stumped as to what to do next, you finally reached for the instructions.
At times like those, we can feel like what we really need isn’t written instructions but a teacher to walk us through the project step by step.
The toughest of life’s challenges are easier when we have someone to provide needed guidance and helpful insights. That’s especially true when it comes to spiritual challenges. That’s when solid Bible teachers are worth their weight in gold.
According to Scripture, solid Bible teachers aren’t easy to find. In fact, the Apostle Paul said we have too many people in our churches who are big babies, instead of teachers.
“For when for the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need that one teach you again the basic principles of the oracles of God; and are become such as have need of milk, and not of strong meat” (Hebrews 5:12).
Did you get that? The Apostle Paul said these men and women need baby food, not solid food. He was saying, in essence, that they’re big babies.
I’m guessing you may have encountered people like that. What they need is someone who can challenge them to grow up. Good teachers will challenge us. Good teachers will even anger us at times at times. But good teachers are so very necessary.
In matters of eternity, nothing can get us into deeper trouble than not knowing the Bible. The truth is, understanding the basics of the Bible can mean the difference between Heaven and Hell.
If people aren’t taught that the gift of salvation is available free to whosoever will ask, they will never receive it. If they aren’t taught that Jesus is the way, the truth and the life, they may look for another.
That’s why it’s vital that big babies grow up, that they put aside their milk bottles and move on to solid foods. That’s why it’s vital that they reach maturity and take their rightful positions in this world as capable teachers.
That way, they can impart to others the good sense they need to stay out of the kind of trouble the skydiver and the propane stove user got themselves into.
Reach Roger Alford at