“Do as I say, not as I do,” is not good modeling. Why do we expect others, esp. our kids, to do what we don’t?
2 All a person’s ways seem pure to him, but his motives are weighed by the LORD.
Here are a few verses to let us know that God knows what’s really going on in our hearts and heads:
7 But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The Lord does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” 1 Samuel 16:7
11 Death and Destruction [hell] lie open before the Lord—
how much more do human hearts! Proverbs 15:11
12 For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. 13 Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account. Hebrews 4:12-13 (verses 14-16 give us perspective of verses 12-13: Firm faith, an empathetic high priest, an approachable throne and God, and grace and mercy available to us anytime we need it).
NOTE: If you have any doubts about whether you are a Christian, or if you have never given your heart and life to Jesus Christ, click here: I’m Not So Bad…Am I?
What we need to decide is who we want to please: Do we want to please the LORD who gave His life on the cross in our place so that He could have a personal, intimate relationship with us, or do we want to please ourselves regardless of the cost to ourselves and to those around us?
1 Peter 5:3 talks about us being examples to the flock, “Shepherd and guide and protect the flock of God among you, exercising oversight not under compulsion, but voluntarily, according to the will of God; and not [motivated] for shameful gain, but with wholehearted enthusiasm; 3 not lording it over those assigned to your care [do not be arrogant or overbearing], but be examples [of Christian living] to the flock [set a pattern of integrity for your congregation]. AMPLIFIED Version
Whether your “congregation” is family, friends, workmates, or a group of people, we are to model Christ to them. And, the only way to know how to do such a thing is to ask Him to show us. We model Christ as we are obedient to Him and act just like He tells us in the Scriptures and in our hearts. For instance, how does Jesus respond to children? He blesses them (Matthew 19:13-14). Another question would be, how does Jesus respond to compromising situations? He redirects and does not condemn, but rather deals in grace and exhorts us to go and live righteously (John 8:1-11). One more: Jesus said for anyone who would come after Him to take up his cross and follow Him (Luke 9:23). Did Jesus model taking up His cross for us? Absolutely!
Our lives as Christians cannot be about us and what we want to do. We must decide daily–even minutely–to set ourselves aside and be Christ to those around us, especially to lost people (they are potential brothers and sisters in Christ; don’t forget that). Paul’s answer to Jesus’ call to take up our cross and follow Him is found in Galatians 2:20,
I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live,
but Christ lives in me.
The life I now live in the body,
I live by faith [by adhering to, relying on, and completely trusting] in the Son of God,
who loved me and gave himself for me.
I’ll give you a hint: If you initially don’t like doing right, then you’re on the right track. Our flesh hates doing anything that isn’t self-satisfying. Later on, however, the Spirit gives us peace and joy and “a certain satisfaction” that comes from being pleasing to Him (and obedient).
Let’s trust our Good Shepherd and be obedient sheep. He has green pastures in store for us.
Abba, may I heed my own words. Patience is NOT in my human nature. Neither is kindness. May I exude both to those around me, especially to my family. I know that if I can demonstrate these qualities to my family, then I can demonstrate them to anyone anywhere! I know Christianity is a practice; may You help me “develop my swing.” Amen.