September 25, 2009
The Teacher As A Midwife
READ: Galatians 4:12-20
My little children, for whom I labor in birth again until Christ is formed in you. —Galatians 4:19The mother of the ancient Greek philosopher Socrates was a midwife. So Socrates grew up observing that she assisted women in bringing new life into the world. This experience later influenced his teaching method. Socrates said, “My art of midwifery is in general like theirs; the only difference is that my patients are men, not women, and my concern is not with the body but with the soul that is in travail of birth.”
Instead of just passing information on to his students, Socrates used the sometimes painful process of asking probing questions to help them arrive at their own conclusions. Teaching them to think seemed at times like the travail of childbirth.
Paul expressed a similar idea in discipling believers in the faith when he said, “My little children, for whom I labor in birth again until Christ is formed in you” (Gal. 4:19). Paul was concerned that each believer grow to spiritual maturity in Christlikeness (Eph. 4:13).
Becoming like Christ is a lifelong experience; therefore, we need patience with others and ourselves. All of us will have challenges and disappointments along the way. But if we put our trust in Him, we’ll grow spiritually and have character qualities that will radiate new life. — Dennis Fisher
Lord, help us see how much we need each other
As we walk along the Christian way;
In fellowship with sister and with brother,
You will keep us growing day by day. —Hess
Conversion is the miracle of a moment; maturing takes a lifetime.