PREACHEN AINT TEACHEN!
This question just popped into my mind during a conversation this morning. Is my lifestyle teaching what my words are preaching? This is interesting to me because it gives me more incentive to ask Jesus (The Great Physician) to examine my heart to see where I Stand in word and deed. Realizing that a lot of people will jump to the excuse that we’re all human and we all sin, to which I agree. But it’s not those little slips or major meltdowns that I’m looking for. I seek to discover deliberate acts of disobedience which are usually subtle and long-term. Those opportunities where I don’t go to God because I know His answer, or I don’t do what He’s asked for whatever reason. Those things I write off with frivolous excuses and usually regret later that I wasn’t willing to serve. I, not unlike the rest of you have a selfish, self-pleasing nature that sometimes takes control. Even though I know and understand Acts 5:3-4 (ESV), 3 But Peter said, “Ananias, why has Satan filled your heart to lie to the Holy Spirit and to keep back for yourself part of the proceeds of the land? 4 While it remained unsold, did it not remain your own? And after it was sold, was it not at your disposal? Why is it that you have contrived this deed in your heart? You have not lied to man but to God.” I still seem to occasionally repeat the cycle and I always feel terrible and cruddy when I do.
However, after saying all that, the problem I see would be my public witness. What is my lifestyle witnessing or teaching those who observe it? There are some stats I read recently on an internet site that said a study of human perception shows; that people remember: 10% of what they hear, - 20% of what they read, & 80% of what they see. With this in mind think of using only TV as your church, or the radio as your source of worship. Limiting human interaction to be as minimal as possible can be detrimental to one’s spiritual growth. According to institutional studies, one would be greatly disabled in many areas of life as we are born to need each other, for growing and learning to become mature in both social and spiritual things. The truth is there are no relationships without personal contact, anything less is simply an acquaintance. People think, that seeing someone daily in a hallway, knowing someone by name, shaking someone’s hand in church once or twice a week, or maybe a neighbor you rarely speak to, constitutes a relationship and nothing could be farther from the truth. Just as Christians can scream, that “God loves you” till they’re blue in the face but until their lifestyle matches their words, no one will ever listen. When we choose to send mixed messages, we are displaying a hypocritical nature. Think about John 3:6 (ESV), That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Our life obviously shows we’re born of the flesh but according to our lifestyle, it may not be so obvious if we’ve been born of the spirit.
I’m reminded of a quote I read that was from an HP Data Meeting; “Hackers only need to get it right once; we need to get it right every time,” Chris Triolo. Please notice, that the statement doesn’t read have to; it reads needto get it right every time. Therefore, every Jesus follower should set their heart and mind on Jesus to supply them with the ambition, passion, and boldness to try to get it right every time. It is imperative that our words and lifestyle match His examples. We can’t do it unless we stay as spiritually connected to Him as humanly possible so that He draws others near to Him through us. We find in 1 John 4:12-13 (ESV),12 No one has ever seen God; if we love one another, God abides in us, and his love is perfected in us. 13 By this we know that we abide in him and he in us, because he has given us of his Spirit. Will others find this true? Is my lifestyle teaching what my words are preaching? I leave you with something Martin Luther King Jr. Said, “The Time Is Always Right, To Do What Is Right!” And Jesus is always ready and waiting to help us complete the task of doing what is right!
Father God, help us to believe 1 John 2:6 (ESV), whoever says he abides in him ought to walk in the same way in which he walked. Our lifestyle should be like yours and we must understand, that it can’t be done without you. May You never say about us what is recorded in Matthew 23:1-3 (ESV), 1 Then Jesus said to the crowds and to his disciples, 2 “The scribes and the Pharisees sit on Moses' seat, 3 so do and observe whatever they tell you, but not the works they do. For they preach, but do not practice. Help us Lord to be aware of what we say, what we wear, and how we act because of the impact it can have on those around us. If we’re preaching “you” or wearing “you”, our actions and attitude should line up with “your” word! Help us stop sending mixed messages and only send “yours” through our lifestyle. Amen
HAVE A BLESSED WEEK BY BEING A BLESSING TO OTHERS!