My friend, may I ask you a question? Does God wants believers to live their faith, not preach it? When you and I demonstrate kindness, patience, forbearance and forgiveness, do we have to talk about it; or do we need to live it? Isn’t our “religion” more a matter of how we live than what we preach?
Life’s a story, welcome to This Passing Day. I'm Mark Brunner.
Occasionally, I like to get on my soapbox. I have strong beliefs about some things and want others to know about them. Recently I went on the lecture route with my kids and preached a sermon at the supper table that I thought they would never forget. I injected humor, gave examples and made sure that they knew what I was expecting of them. After holding sway for ten or fifteen minutes, I paused for reactions. There wasn’t any. Both were staring down into their food. I figured it was because they were looking to find those rogue peas that had rolled into the potatoes. The reality was that their eyes had glazed over from disinterest and they couldn’t see their food through the blank stares.
Despite the fact that I firmly believed in what I was saying, I had transgressed one of the most sacred rules of fatherhood. Dad’s were meant to be teachers and not preachers.
Here’s a story: A well-known professional golfer was playing in a tournament with President Gerald Ford, fellow pro Jack Nicklaus, and Billy Graham. After the round was over, one of the other pros on the tour asked, “Hey, what was it like playing with the President and Billy Graham?” The pro said with disgust, “I don’t need Billy Graham stuffing religion down my throat!” With that he headed for the practice tee. His friend followed, and after the golfer had pounded out his fury on a bucket of golf balls, he asked, “Was Billy a little rough on you out there?” The pro sighed and said with embarrassment, “No, he didn't even mention religion.” Astonishingly, Billy Graham had said nothing about God, Jesus, or religion, yet the pro stomped away after the game accusing Billy of trying to ram religion down his throat. (R.C. Sproul, The Holiness of God.)
God wants believers to live their faith, not preach it. When you and I demonstrate kindness, patience, forbearance and forgiveness, we don’t have to talk about it; we need to live it. Our “religion” is more a matter of how we live than what we preach. Sometimes the “silent treatment” is far more effective than the soapbox.
We pray. Heavenly Father, we pray for a spirit of sacrifice and love to contribute to the needs of the whole body, so that Your Church is built not just with words but with actions, care, and example. Therefore we go forth in unity and purpose as we do our part in building each other up in the various natural gifts and learned skills You have given us as we strive for unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God. Forgive us when we preach rather than teach. Help us live godly lives that will help others know Your Holy Name. In Jesus name. Amen.
Therefore my friend, do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry for itself; each day has enough trouble of its own. (Matt 6:34) This Passing Day. May this passing day honor our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and be a blessing to you and everyone you meet. Find a stranger and say hello. Don't let another day pass without your day blessing someone else.
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<firstname.lastname@example.org> From Beech Springs, God bless you for Jesus sake.