CAN YOU PREACH WHAT YOU PRACTICE?

All my life I have heard the expression, “Practice what you preach!” It’s something that we are told from a young age to teach us the importance of “walking the walk”. This saying teaches us to look at ourselves and make sure that we are doing those things that we are telling others they need to do. But what if we looked at this a little differently? What if I asked, “Can I preach what you practice?” Are there things in your life or mine that others could or could not preach about?

If someone where to follow us all day long, would they be able to preach about the things we practice? It’s a sobering thought when you stop and contemplate it. My life should be so in line with the scriptures that I should be able to say as Paul did, “Imitate me, as I imitate Christ” (1 Corinthians 11:1). But the truth of the matter is that, if we all are honest with ourselves, we all have things that we know we need to do differently in our lives.

For example, we all know that studying the Bible is very important for the Christian (Deuteronomy 6:6-9), but many of us don’t read it, let alone study it, as often as we should. So if someone were to follow us and see that, would we want them to preach that? Absolutely not! We would want them to encourage others to do personal studies and to encourage them to be in God’s Word daily. What about the way we talk? Would we be ok with others encouraging people to talk like us? If I am someone who is a liar or someone who uses profanity, or says discouraging things, would I want that to be what is preached about me? Certainly not! Therefore I need to be constantly aware of my actions and realize that others are watching me and will emulate the things I do. This should cause us to stop and take a look at our lives and do some serious self-evaluation. Think about it; if we were going to be on a TV show where there were cameras around all the time, wouldn’t we be on our best behavior? Well, brothers and sisters, we need to be reminded that God sees all that we do. “And no creature is hidden from His sight, but all are naked and exposed to the eyes of Him to Whom we must give an account” (Hebrews 4:13).

Even though others can’t see what we do 24/7 doesn’t mean that I shouldn’t live my life as a continual example. So, live your life in a way that I can preach what you practice!  Tim Campbell, Commerce church of Christ, Commerce, TX

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