Practicing What He Preached

I have a dear friend and golf buddy who married a bright and beautiful woman. She happens to be witty, as well. They go to church together and even participate in Sunday School. He tries to wiggle out of the before worship service learning experience every now and again. "I really don't add much to the class," he said to her in an attempt to miss Sunday School. "Are you kidding? You serve as the perfect bad example," was the witty response. What a hoot. She's not far from the truth. All of us have watched people make terrible decisions that lead to awful consequences. "I'll never do that," we say to ourselves and detour around the misery and trouble brought by foolish actions. But a good example is solid gold. Think of the people you know who are living with integrity and character. They inspire others wherever they go. Their life is like a road sign that points us in the right direction. Every church has people in the pews who are the salt of the earth and a light shining in a dark and deceptive world. I thank God for the people who have helped me and my family understand the do's and don'ts of a Christian life. Our Lord Jesus knew the danger of a bad example and the value of a good one. He criticized the Pharisees because their teaching and their living didn't match. "Do whatever they teach you -- follow it; but do not do as they do, for they do not practice what they preach," said Jesus. (Matthew 23:3) He praised the poor widow who "put in two small copper coins" because she was a remarkable example of generosity and trust in God. How wonderful of God to give us Jesus Christ to show us the way we should live. He practiced everything he preached.