Practicing What You Preach

If it looks like a duck, talks like a duck and quacks like a duck…well, it must be a duck.  But what if the duck barks and has arms, instead of quacking and having wings?  What then?  Is it still a duck or not?

I don’t think so.

Unfortunately, I’m the duck (a.k.a Christian) that squeals like a pig and wishes it could soar through the sky to heights unknown, but doesn’t have wings.  Pitiful!

In reality, I’m the Christian who is struggling to live in this world, but not conform to it.  I am ugly to others, yet really want to love my ‘neighbors’.  I wish to have my life mean something and leave a legacy, but do nothing.  (Why I do nothing is for another day’s blog!!)

Regardless of our successes or failures, people watch our behaviors, reactions and deeds every moment of the day.  We may not think we are ‘preaching’ to anyone, but as Christians, we are each a representative of whose we are with every breath we take.

“But the one who looks into the perfect law, the law of liberty, and perseveres, being no hearer who forgets but a doer who acts, he will be blessed in his doing. If anyone thinks he is religious and does not bridle his tongue but deceives his heart, this person’s religion is worthless. Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world.”  James 1:25-27 (bold and italics is mine)

Uh oh!!!  I am often a lukewarm believer and am terribly afraid that God’s going to spit me out because I definitely deserve it.  (See Revelation 3:16)

I realize there is much work to be done throughout this journey of life before I reach my heavenly destination, but I frequently fall off the wagon and miss the mark by a long shot.

Been there before?

Sure, I’m at home raising my kids, taking care of the household and blasting through a hectic schedule each day, but is that really a good enough excuse?  And when will I honestly have the time to do for others rather than take care of myself?

The question is do I put into practice what I believe TODAY?  And how can I get past the many excuses (i.e. too tired, too busy, don’t have a clue what to do…yep…sounds like another blog entry!)

  1. DON’T GIVE UP – The worst thing we can do is concede defeat!  Jesus DIED for our sins so that we could be in relationship with God.  DON’T listen to the deceiver of the world who says we aren’t worth it and we deserve death…Jesus’ sacrifice guarantees our forgiveness if we choose HIM!!!  (See John 3:16 and Romans 6:23)
  2. KEEP PRAYING – God hears us!  God wants us to talk to Him!  God answers prayers with a yes, no, or something better!!  (See Philippians 4:6)
  3. GET AN ACCOUNTABILITY PARTNER – We are not meant to do this life alone.  Plus, it’s easy to get off track if you don’t have someone holding you responsible.  You might learn something and help them in the process, too!  (See James 5:16)

Practicing what you preach can be as easy as tweaking the language coming out of our mouths or as difficult as being a missionary in Africa.  To respond to God’s calling and to practice what we preach we must make sure we are in God’s Word, pray to Him and love others OFTEN!!!

Do you practice what you preach?

Some Wisdom for Today:  Proverbs 10:19 – When words are many, sin is not absent, but he who holds his tongue is wise.

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