A while ago I went to a women’s conference in another state with some of my relatives. We heard two different Bible teachers speak. Both of these women had written books. Both were well known. That is where the similarities ended. One women was older. In fact, she was in her eighties. She spoke first. She shared her heart for us younger women. She shared from the Word. She spoke of women to whom she had ministered in countries where believers are being persecuted. Her voice broke as she spoke of her sisters in Christ, living under the constant threat of imprisonment and death. You could see the love she carried for them. She spoke of Christ and the gospel. Her knowledge of the Word was so evident, and her talk was so full of scripture that she just seemed to breathe it out. I left her session with a heart yearning for Christ. I left with a clear picture of what I want to look like if the Lord should give me the gift of old age. Decades of walking with Jesus had made her one of the most wise and gentle-spirited women I have ever seen.

The next speaker was a young woman. She stood up and immediately launched into funny stories about herself. She talked about trips she’d taken. She dropped names of famous people she’d shared a stage with. She told more stories about herself. At one point she decided to work in a little bit of Bible, so she wedged in a story about Noah and the ark, and “How must he have felt as he saw everything he had known floating by? There goes the house. There goes the tabernacle…” She let that hang in the air, as if giving it time to really make an impact. I sat there in my seat wondering how the tabernacle could have been floating by when it wouldn’t be built for over a thousand years after the flood. I tried to hang in there and give her the benefit of the doubt, but I gave up after the lunch session. After her talk, a couple of us had tickets to go to a more personal luncheon with her and sit in on her Q and A. During that session, we got to hear even more about all of the famous people she knows. She shared about different shows that she has been or will be featured on. She told us that often women come up to her and say, “I loved your book!” To which she replies, “Girl, which one? I’ve written eleven!” I so deeply wish that I was making this up. It got harder and harder for me to swallow the food I was picking at on my plate the longer she spoke. The final straw was when she told us that she wanted to have her own network someday and be bigger than Oprah.

As we left that event, there were two tables set up. The older woman was at one table, waiting to talk and pray with the women as they came out of their sessions. The younger woman was at a table loaded down with her books, signing autographs and taking selfies with women who had purchased a book. She was standing in front of a giant banner with a blown up picture of her own face on it. Here is the part that grieved me the most. The line at her table was 3 or four people wide and out the door onto the sidewalk outside. There was no line at the older woman’s table.

As I took in that scene, I had the thought that this is the problem. This is why we as women in the church are living on starvation rations of the Word. This is why we are spiritually weak and we cannot discern when a pretty face is lying to us while holding a Bible. It is because we love the wrong things.

We elevate youth and beauty. We want funny more than we want wise. We want our teachers to tell us a joke that we can laugh at. We don’t want to weep over our sin. “The heart of the wise is in the house of mourning, but the heart of fools is in the house of pleasure.” Ecc.7:4

We want empowerment more than we want humility. “He has told you,O man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God.”

We don’t want truth. We want to be lied to. We would never admit that out loud, but at the core, it feels better to be lied to than to than to be told the truth. “For a time is coming when people will no longer listen to sound and wholesome teaching. They will follow their own desires and will look for teachers who will tell them whatever their itching ears want to hear. They will reject the truth and chase after myths.” 2 Tim. 4:3-4

The truth is that apart from Jesus, we have no good thing (Psalm 16:2). We are not the hope of the world. Jesus is. Outside of Him, we are “dark hearted, futile minded, enemies of God.” Contrary to what the pep rally, girl power, life-coach “Bible” teachers tell us now, we are not the ones who will change the world.  Jesus will. “I am the vine, you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from Me, you can do nothing.” In other words, God asks us to remain in Him. He asks us to chase His heart. He asks us to know His Word deeply and to abide in that. Out of that union, that closeness, real fruit will grow, real impact will occur, but even then, it’s all Him. It’s still not about us. There is never a point at which it is ok to raise our own name. We raise His name, like a banner. We are to be after His glory, not our own. We call people to follow Christ, not ourselves.

The book of Hosea describes a time when the priests refused to teach people the truth. It reminds me so much of our current culture.  God rebuked the priests and said, “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge.” Are we being destroyed? Other versions use the word “perishing.” Are we perishing for lack of knowledge of the truth? I think that we are. We have exchanged the humbling truth of God for a self exalting lie. Does that sound familiar? Read Romans chapter 2. Women of God, I plead with you to pursue wisdom. I plead with you to put down the girl power self help book and pick up your Bible. Your life depends on it. Your children don’t need empowered mom. They need humble, god-fearing mom. Our world needs women who look not like our “truest selves,” but like Jesus Christ. This will not happen outside of making a decision to dig in our heels, draw a line in the sand and declare that we are going after God. We are going to consume His Word like the spiritual food that it is, and we are going to let Him conform us to His own image, no matter how hard, no matter how long it takes. And if that requires taking a stand against the tidal wave of narcissistic teachings sweeping through Christian culture, then we stand and take it full on, because the Rock under our feet will not move.



*My blogs are written with the assumption that they are being read primarily by Christians. If you want to know more about what it means to be a Christian or about the gospel of Jesus Christ, click the link here:  The Gospel

130 thoughts on “A Tale of Two Teachers

  1. Pingback: The Wisdom of Waiting and the Grace We Gain with Age - Denise J. Hughes

  2. Pingback: A Tale of Two Teachers - Kingdom Winds

  3. This is actually very sad but so true. TheWord of God is being ‘diluted’ for personal gain. It is not about Him in the first place. Thanks.


    • I’ve never been to a women’s conference. (I’m a dude), but you captured perfectly the problems that pervade too many of today’s Christians and “Christian culture.” Thanks for shining a light for truth.


  4. I am the “older” woman. What can I say? I want to pour into the minds and hearts of my students (I’m a teacher/blogger) the beauty of knowing God…intimately. I felt your pain and wish the same.


  5. Pingback: Historia de dos maestras - Palabra y Gracia

  6. I cannot say Amen enough to this post. I am one of those older women who get to speak at women gatherings at times. I have written no books but am in the process of writing one titled, Truth Dripping Red. It’s a memoir which was what I was recommended to do. I am 72 and I disobeyed for 10 years on doing this. Mainly because of what you wrote about, the devil has told me all of them but others who know me and now the words of your post continues to encourage me to fight the good fight. God has taken me on a few journeys that played a huge part of how He drove truth into my spirit. It’s not flashy truth, it drips red, the red blood of Jesus. thanks you for your perception on women speakers. Women are starving in churches, you said it right. I am so grateful for a bible study I teach and one I go to that another women teaches because of just what you said. I have to watch myself in what I share because of being an over seas missionary for years some of the women have me on a spiritual plane I am not even close to. So I try not to draw attention to that part of my life and center on the life of Christ where real life is. Blessings to you.


  7. As a Christian Teacher and Speaker to Ladies ,I wish to comment. Usually the person to call or write to request you speaking at a particular event is one of the following three: the Pastor’s wife , a lady in charge of the ministry for women , or a committee of women that have been given this task. For the most part the women in charge pretty much all want the same thing. A speaker that will appeal to a very diverse group of women. Therefore, they seem to favor a simple, Happy, Fluffy familiar type or types subjects. On my site I list both , I have yet to have the deep subjects requested. So I understand your thoughts Amberlee, completely. Thank you for writing this, Maria Carli


  8. This so resonates with me. The trend over the last 10-15 yrs. grieves my heart. It is ALL about Him; it is so NOT about us. My prayer is that we know Him so well that just a moment in His presence completely undoes us & sets us on fire with His love for the world to see & know. It is His kindness that leads us to repentance. I pray for a heart of repentance to sweep our country & world.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I love that you’re calling women to go after God and be more like Jesus. That indeed should be the heart cry of every believer, preachers included. However, making this a generational issue is not necessary and divisive. It is not the old versus young.
    Sure there are generational differences when it comes to preaching styles… but if both generations learn to appreciate what the other has to offer and unite under the common call you mentioned, that’s how build intergenerational relationships strong enough to allow for accountability and mutual encouragement.
    I’m 28 years old and love when I get to sit under the preaching of older women of different styles than mine… but I also love when a woman much older than me, accustomed to a preaching style much different than mine, comes to me after I speak and shares how she felt, encouraged, freed, by the truth of what I shared. Let’s focus less on the age and style and focus more on the truth that is shared. Is what is being shared exalting God? Is it challenging people to be more like Jesus? Then what difference does it make if it is being shared by an 18 or 81 year old?
    As women, let’s encourage each other just as much as we keep each other accountable.


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