Gregory the Great on Good Teaching

The teaching of the arrogant has this characteristic: they do not know how to introduce their teaching humbly and they cannot convey correctly to others the things they understand correctly themselves [as Job’s advisors did to him]. On the contrary true doctrine all the more effectively shuns the voice of arrogance through reflection. For true doctrine tries both to teach by words and to demonstrate by living example–humility, which is the mother and mistress of virtues. Its goal is to express humility among the disciples of truth more by deeds than by words.

Similarly, the apostle Peter enjoins: “Be prepared to satisfy everybody who asks a reason for the hope which is in you;” and by adding the words: “with a good conscience, speak gently and respectfully,” Peter draws attention to the manner in which sacred doctrine should be taught. When he tells his disciples: “These things command and teach with all power,” Paul really recommends the credibility that goes hand in hand with good behavior rather than the domineering exercise of power. When one practices first and preaches afterwards, one is really teaching with power. Doctrine loses credibility, if conscience doesn’t tether the tongue.

Moral Reflections on Job