Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Practicing What I Preach

I admit.  I am one of those pastors (of which I think there are many) who, for the sake of making scriptural applicable to the average Christian's life, comes up with "action steps" and "what we do nows?" but never really puts those things into practice.  Now some will say that I am a big hypocrite.  I don't practice what I preach, but I don't make any pretense of of doing the things I preach.  I try to be open about my own life, sometimes to the detriment of my wife, about my hangups as a Christian.  I struggle just like every human being struggles.  I do see the importance of Scripture.  I do see the need to put it into practice.  This fuels my desire when I teach to come up with some way to make it applicable, even if I don't follow through myself.  I don't see that is being hypocritical.  I see that as being a teacher trying to teach truths and biblical principles regardless of my own faults.  In a lot of ways I have become like teachers/professors in higher academia.  In essence, I have become a theorist.

I have come to realize that I can only go so far in teaching people how to apply Scripture to their lives.  I can theorize about how scripture is applied, but if someone were to come and ask me "What has your experience been?" I could not give them any kind of a definite answer.  With this realization I have been challenged to change things around in my life.

After writing a few of my most recent blog posts, teaching the teens and attending small group I have decided to practice what I preach.  I want to be able to answer the "What has your experience been?" question.  I have started with putting God first in what I do and what my family does.  I am not saying that I have instantly changed, but I am making a conscience effort to make God the main thing in my life.  This stems from the post I wrote about  Prioritizing the Important Things.  My son and I are challenging each other to read our Bible daily.  It has been refreshing.  I have forgotten what it was like to be in love with Scripture.  I have begun the process of simplifying my life.  I have cut out many unnecessary activities so that I can make God the number one priority and try to balance my family, work, rest and sharing my faith priorities.  It is a tough road, but at least I am on it.

I wrote a blog post about the priority of marriage.  As a result I am trying to make the changes in my marriage and family.  One of the changes that has been made is starting our day together as a family with discussion over Scripture and prayer.   We've only done it for a few days now, but I am loving it.  Beginning the day like this seems to help with the rest of the day.  I taught a lesson and blogged about this (Working Together in Developing Godly Habits).  I'm putting my "action steps" into practice.

I no longer want to be a theorist.  I want to live what I teach.  God is the priority.  I pray that he will continue to shape and mold my life.  I encourage all who read this to do the same thing.   At our church we have been learning about what it means to be salt and light.  True salt and light comes from Christians who are growing in their relationship with Christ.  They allow God to shake their lives up.  They are open to the changes that need to be made.  They do their best to be like Christ.  Will you join me?

No comments: