Should They Do As We Do?
Message No. 0585 | Twitter @GodandUs | www.wisdom-speaks.ca
I've heard people use the expression “Do as I say but not as I do.” The immediate interpretation of this to those who are willing to read between the lines is that the person speaking to you does not play by the rules, not even by his or her own rules. You begin to feel that the person must be engaging in junk behavior, lacking in character, teaching others what he or she cannot abide by, is not an example to emulate, and so on, and you begin to think, why should I even listen to this person, seeing clearly that the person cannot be a good role model?
Our biblical examples are a sharp contrast to people who talk in the manner described above. In John chapter 14 verse 12, Jesus told His disciples:
“Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do he will do also; and greater works than these he will do, because I go to My Father.
Throughout His Ministry here on earth, Jesus not only coached His disciples, He displayed an unmatched character to them and to the whole world. He never used the phrase ‘Don’t try this at home.’ He did not do anything that He did not want His disciples to do. The disciples wished that they could be like Him. Each time they wanted to cast out a demon and could not do it, they asked, ‘Master, why couldn’t we do it?’ They were eager to follow His lead.
Apostle Paul was just like Jesus. In his writings, he couched the churches and showed example of good behavior. In Philippians 4:8-9, Paul wrote:
Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things. The things which you learned and received and heard and saw in me, these do, and the God of peace will be with you.
Paul was so confident of his behavior that he asked the churches to emulate him. In the above passage, not only did he list out the things the Philippian church should be doing, he also added that the church had seen him do these things and therefore should do the same.
The question to us who are leaders of God’s people is, can we really tell the people that we are leading to emulate us? Should they do as we are doing? Should they manage the church funds as we are managing it? Should they speak to people the way we speak to people? Should they relate to their spouses the way we relate to ours? Should they deal with their colleagues the way we deal with ours? When a vehicle driver cuts them in front as they do to us, should they raise out their fingers from their car windows the way we do? When a shopper pushes his or her cart to collide with ours, should our followers explode the same way as we do in the stores? When a passenger is begging to go past us in the line because he or she is about to miss their flight, do we want our followers to say ‘over my dead body’ just as we do?
We all come to the pulpit to sing like angels and preach like Peter and conduct ourselves like Paul in the presence of the congregation, but what do we really do when nobody is seeing us, and can we tell our followers to do as we do? We ought to remember always, that the end is coming, and that we will one day stand before the Judgment Seat and that our activities on earth will no longer be hidden and only if we are found faithful will we receive welcome My beloved son or daughter. James recognizes the easy trouble we can easily find ourselves in as teachers and advised in James 3:1 as follows:
My brethren, let not many of you become teachers, knowing that we shall receive a stricter judgment.
Let us all therefore pay close attention to Paul’s message in our earlier passage above, ensuring that whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy, we meditate on these things. And may the God who called us into His Service uphold us all and help us to live up to His expectation in all things, in Jesus’ mighty name. Amen.
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PLEASE ACT NOW: If you are yet to give your life to Christ, you do not have a covenant with God and His promises do not apply to you. To come under these promises, please surrender your life to Christ today, by praying this prayer: Lord I know that I am a sinner and I am unable to save myself. I am sorry for my sins and I pray that you please forgive me. I am aware that Your Son Jesus died for my sins and I accept Him as my Lord and savior. I surrender my life unto you from this moment. Please take control of my entire being and help me to be obedient to your Word, going forward. Thank you, Lord, for hearing me. I have prayed in Jesus’ name. Amen. If you prayed the foregoing prayer, you have just been born again. Please find a Bible believing church in your area and ask to see the pastor. Let him or her know that you have just given your life to Christ and s/he will guide you on next steps in your journey as a child of God. The Lord bless you!