A gazebo for smokers stands outside our local hospital.
Often when I drive past it, I see what appear to be health care professionals puff, puff, puffing away on their cigareets.? I have to smile.? Surely they know Kools cause cancer.? Maybe they don’t believe it.? Maybe they think they’ll beat the statistics.? I can imagine a doctor exhorting a patient to ditch his butts then stepping outside for a smoke break.? Serious disconnect, like an Amish guy telling me I should drive a black buggy then peeling out in a red Mustang.
Like the dad who blusters “Do what I say, not what I do!” ? A 6-year-old can see through that a mile away.
People love it when Christians don’t live gospel-shaped lives.? They love it when Christians talk about integrity, then stretch out their breaks at work.? They’re glad when believers laugh at a dirty joke or join in slander.? They’re happy when Christians talk about love then mock homosexuals.? They love it because that gives them an excuse – Christianity must not be true if it doesn’t change lives.? It’s not true if it doesn’t make people humble, honest or pure.? People love it when a pastor falls because if a leader doesn’t practice what he preaches it shows he doesn’t really believe it.
In 1 Timothy 4:16 Paul says,? “Keep a close watch on yourself and on the teaching.” Be sure you’re holding to the gospel and that the gospel is shaping your life.? Practice what you preach, because the doctrine you profess and the life you lead affects others.
In the second half of v16 Paul tells Timothy he must persist in ensuring his life and belief match up “for by so doing you will save both yourself and your hearers.”
As Timothy persisted in preaching the gospel and applying it to his life, the combination of his words and life would influence many.? I want to live the gospel I preach.? Let’s all seek the grace of the Lord to stay in sync.
photo by Gullig