Wrestling To Live What You Preach

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Are there moments where you struggle to live out what you “preach”? Of course! If we are honest, we all struggle to live out what we say.

Join the club!

That statement hits home with me because I serve as a pastor. And quite frankly, that statement posed some serious concerns for me serving as a pastor before becoming one. The reason why it was a problem for me and probably for you as well, is that we are surrounded with scandal after scandal of stories from the news, on the internet, or heated conversations in the barbershop, about pastors who are supposed to be telling us the right way to live and later find out they are practicing the same things. “I don’t want to be accused of living hypocritically. I don’t want anyone looking at me sideways and already assume, ‘off the top’ (from the beginning) that I have a hidden agenda to womanize or get rich, etc.”, are statements I’ve made in my heart before serving as a pastor. Then the Lord commanded a brotha (me) to feed His sheep (HA)!

One thing I am learning in this journey of shepherding people is the subtle drift of missing the application to myself after understanding the bible passages and coming up with creative ways to articulate God’s truth! This is so easy to do. What I am training myself to do, these days, is to come to God’s word with a heart and mind that says to Jesus, while getting an understanding of the text during preparation to preach, “What does this text mean to me Lord? What would You have me to do as a result of what Your word is saying?” During this self examination, I have the opportunity to allow Holy Spirit to fill me with the truth in my heart. Then I can actually live out what the Scriptures says. After the process of following Jesus personally, examples and creative ways to articulate the truth floods my mind. Now I can instruct others out of a heart of obedience to Christ!

The challenge to “humble down” before the Word Of God and follow Him is the everyday struggle, not just before preaching. I wrote about a similar struggle briefly in a previous blog here. Let’s humble ourselves before the Lord and His word first. That way, we can “preach” what we are living (by God’s enabling).

I Timothy 4:16 ESV Keep a close watch on yourself and on the teaching. Persist in this, for by so doing you will save both yourself and your hearers.

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