Do What I Say, Not What I Do . . .

22 Jan

I John 3:18, “My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but indeed and in truth.”

A number of years ago I sat under the teaching of a Bible study leader who taught us the book of Romans.  At the end, she pointed out the diversity of the people Paul greeted, slave and free, black and white, Roman, barbarian, and Jew.  She held that up as a model for our response to the diversity we see around us, mentioning that the church should embrace diversity more than any other body.  She specifically mentioned ministry to people with AIDS, as that was a new subject back then.

I was overjoyed at that teaching and very respectful of the viewpoint.  I told her how thankful I was that she had gotten into AIDS ministry and asked how I could do the same.  There was a pause and a cleared throat.  “Oh, I don’t do AIDS ministry.  I only mentioned that as an ideal for us to shoot for . . .”  Oh!

My friend knew the Great Commission and how it calls Christians forth to go evangelize the world.  She knew it so well that she taught it to us almost every week.  So I was later surprised to find that she did not practice this herself either.  She told me her job in the Body of Christ was to equip others to fulfill the Great Commission.  Wow!

Only . . . she was just being honest in an area where other people are not, right?  How many Bible teachers believe that their job stops as soon as they have told others how to go fulfill the Great Commission?  How many don’t try to fulfill it personally?

Fact is, our human nature is lazy and wants to give us a free pass while we tell others to go out and do the Kingdom work.  We just need to be aware of this fact about ourselves.  Jesus called the Pharisees out about that tendency to lay burdens on others that they would not pick up themselves.  

There is a great work to be done and none of us is exempt from the call to do it.  Let’s go, okay?

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