They do not practice what they preach. —Matthew 23:3

This is voiced by Jesus about the religious leaders in His day. It is not a positive comment. Today there are those who say this about some who are church-goers and at times they surely have a point. We who follow the Lord Jesus Christ, whether a leader or not, ought to be applying the Word we preach and teach to our own lives. Those around us will be quick to pick up whether or not we are “walking our talk.” A life that is applying the Word of God will be a life that radiates His character.

Years ago when I was working at a shipyard in Kittery, Maine, I observed an incident involving a follow of Jesus and another person who was not a follower. The believer was sitting at his work bench looking at a magazine. I was not close enough to see what he was looking at, but the unbeliever was and said, “I thought you were a Christian and you are looking at that.” Apparently it was a pornographic magazine and the believer quickly set it aside.

I have always been amazed how quick a person who does not follow Jesus is to point out things in the lives of followers of Jesus that are contrary to God’s Word. They are swift to let a believer know when they do not “practice what they preach.” Again, may those of us who follow Jesus truly seek to “practice what we preach” and when we do fail before those who do not know Jesus, may we be quick to ask their forgiveness as well as God’s.

Dear Father, please help me to be consistent and “practice what I preach.” May I be quick to admit and confess when I do fail. Oh, that I would shine for You in the authority of Jesus and by the Holy Spirit’s power.

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