Teachers not only need to talk, they need to listen to and know their students. Case in point…

“Two children were looking at a picture of the murder by Cain. Abel’s crook was lying upon the ground. After contemplating it a moment in silence, one says, with a thoughtful and serious expression of countenance, “I wonder if God could have made Cain as good a man as Abel, if he had wished.” Another pause – and then the other said, shaking his head, and throwing into his countenance a look of stern defiance, “Ah, if I had been Abel, and could have got a hold of that stick, I would have laid it upon Cain well.”

“How entirely different now the course of remark judiciously adapted to the condition of the latter mind, from that which would be suitable to the former,” remarks Jacob Abbott, the source of the above anecdote. (From The Museum of Religious Knowledge, ed. Marcus Cross, p. 161). This is a good word of rebuke to preachers and teachers who don’t spend time listening to their flock as they prepare for their sermons throughout the week.



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