Living Effectively for Christ Day 12 – Practice What You Preach
“But the one who looks into the perfect law, the law of liberty, and perseveres, being no hearer who forgets but a doer who acts, he will be blessed in his doing.” (James 1:25, ESV)
“Why do you see the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when there is the log in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye.” (Matthew 7:3-5, ESV)
“Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children. And walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.” (Ephesians 5:1-2, ESV)
Whenever the topic of Christianity is brought up in secular settings, the biggest issue I see that people have is with hypocrisy. While this is a misunderstanding both on the part of the non-believer and the believer, it is nevertheless true. Some believers fail to admit that we are flawed humans who stumble and sin, even as we preach against sin, and this can be off-putting to those looking on from the outside. This is why our walk is so important. If we are preaching the truth but not living it, we can lose more souls for Christ than win them.
It is cliché and yet so true to say that revival starts with us. First, we must take the log out of our own eye and then we can help another with the speck in theirs. How? By spending time in the Word and in His presence. The more we fill our hearts with Scripture and actively seek to do His will, the less time we will have to give in to our sinful desires. Yes, we will still stumble because we are still sinful humans, but with the help of the Holy Spirit we can become more and more like Christ.
I cannot help but think of Christ’s walk when it comes to practicing what we preach. When Satan sought to tempt Jesus to sin, he failed. Why? Because Christ knew the Scriptures and He understood the will of the Father. When Satan presented a tempting offer for something grandiose, Christ rebuffed Him with Scripture and refused His offers. Jesus was so filled with the knowledge of God that even when He was physically weak and starving, He could still make a stand for God. When the Pharisees and Sadducees sought to make Christ stumble, they failed. Every time they brought up a controversial dilemma, even when it seemed like there was no right answer, He was able to use Scripture to answer them in a way they never expected. They were left unable to question His character and knowledge.
We are meant to do the same. Whenever the world comes at us with questions, our lives and our words should be so consistent with the truth of Scripture that they cannot question our character. That starts with first knowing the Scriptures. So let us not neglect to spend time in His Word and in His presence daily!
To be used by God, we must first be imitators of Him. The more we seek to be like Him and prioritize doing His will, the more He can and will use us to be a light in our community. So let’s find the logs in our eyes and ask God to help us remove them. He wants to purify us. He wants to mold us into vessels that mimic His Son. So let’s allow Him to work in us so we can work for Him.