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  • Writer's pictureCharelle

Do as I Say—Yeah, Right, Okay




"Do as I say, not as I do."


Now, there's a copout if I ever heard one. Even so, generations of parents have thrown it at their kids. Have you caught yourself being one of them? The phrase, or something akin to it, is most likely to come flying out of the mouth after having reprimanded a child for their behavior and then receiving a response beginning with something such as, "But you..."


Busted.


We press on because... well, if we're being honest... because we're mad that we just got smacked in the face with ourselves.


No need to feel embarrassed or out of sorts if that's been you though. I've been where you came from. It's tough when we get called out by our kids. Still, I don't think the "do as I say" command works. As a matter of fact, I wonder if it doesn't serve as a green light for most kids to keep on keeping on.


I mean, what else should we expect? How seriously do you take someone who says one thing and does another? My take on those types of people these days is that you can't trust them for nothin'.


You can hope they come through with all your heart, but there's always that little edge of doubt trying to cut into your thoughts. That's not the way I want anyone to think about me—ever! And especially not my child!


When words amount to "blah, blah, blah"

We can talk until we're blue in the face—I'm just full of old sayings today 🤭—but our actions are always going to speak louder than our words. That's true whether we're talking to our kids or the people down the street.


Did you know the "do as I say" phrase is said to have originated with Jesus? I was shocked when I learned that because it seems to be the polar opposite of His nature. He was a shining example of how to be a good human.


Bossing people around and making them toe His line while He, on the other hand, was free to do as He pleased in all situations... *thumbing through the Bible again searching for the example* Nope. Huh uh. Can't find it. It's not in there.


As usual, the liar got in the details and put a spin on what He actually said.


Here's the passage:


Then Jesus said to the multitudes and to His disciples, "The scribes and Pharisees sit on Moses’ seat of authority. So, observe and practice all they tell you; but do not do what they do, for they preach, but do not practice." ~Matthew 23:1-3


See? What He said and what the word on the street says He said don't mesh. The correct take away is there, though, did you catch it?


Jesus was telling the people that it's important to actually practice what you preach. The Pharisees knew the law of Moses so were good at talking the talk but didn't even attempt to walk the walk. Instead, they got hung up on being large and in charge, making rule after rule to keep the people under their thumbs. In so doing, they had become prideful and rebellious dealing out punishment as they saw fit.


Even, as in Jesus' case, when it involved murder.


Hypocrites!

Things tend to wind up in chaos when we let ourselves go to our heads.


Making ourselves more important than the "thing" that caused people to seek us out only serves to lead us off the path that we should be on. Life, in general, becomes more about the "all about ME!" of it all to varied degrees.


Life is a busy thing for a reason. If God's way, waaaaaaaaay back there on the back burner, we're off kelter. NOT judging. Just speaking from experience here. I lost decades worth of relationship-building! Hopefully, I'm on the quick study path and can still make up for them though. 😉


Still, if we're not completely focused on God, we're bound to fall prey to the tempter's snare. Once we're caught up, it makes it easier and easier to pump ourselves up. We don't even consider our own faults while looking down our noses—albeit just a tad, of course—they can't help it, poor dears, not everyone can be as awesome as we are—at the actions of others.


hyp·o·crite

[ˈhipəˌkrit]

NOUN

  1. a person who indulges in hypocrisy:


hy·poc·ri·sy

[həˈpäkrəsē]

NOUN

  1. the practice of claiming to have moral standards or beliefs to which one's own behavior does not conform; pretense:


😔 Eeesh. 😔


Which direction were we walking again?


We're supposed to be following in Jesus' footsteps, not blazing our trails focused on what we deem the best course of action—according to our take on scripture, of course. It's not hard to change course though... once we're honest with ourselves and repent for how we've acted.


He was humble in spirit


When I was a kid, a singer named Mac Davis put out a song entitled, "Lord, It's Hard to be Humble." It started out with the words, "Lord, it's hard to be humble when you're perfect in every way." I'd have to look up the song to go any further than that, but you see where it's going. He was making fun but his description of someone who thought mighty highly of themselves was spot on.


I knew that, even though the song was funny, it wasn't a life pattern I wanted to follow.


I've told you before that God instilled a strong moral compass within me. Not that I don't veer off course, but this isn't about my failures in life. I could give you an example of that from yesterday as far as God is concerned. Only Jesus was perfect, and it wasn't because He was a supernatural being.


But when it comes to straight up right or wrong... or standing firmly on what the Word of God speaks to me... I'm not budging. Does that mean I don't love people who are making choices the Bible specifically says are wrong? Nope. Would I turn away if they had a physical need that I could meet or benefit from a gigantic hug—which happens to be one of my specialties 😁—not a chance. And, guess what? They know it.


But—I probably need say no more, however, I know nobody pops in on the regular, regular yet so I shall—I digress. Back to the point we go.


Jesus was a human while He was here, but a human who had Holy Spirit guiding His path. He did remember His life in heaven and His compassion and love for us was evident. He knew the game plan and refused to even consider deviating from it. God is love. But He had a helper, an encourager with Him every step of the way.


Have you ever noticed how often "Holy Spirit" or "the spirit of God" are mentioned in the gospel in connection with Jesus performing miracles, for example? That revelation hit me like a ton of bricks not long ago. I imagine Jesus kept up a running dialogue with Holy Spirit much of the time.


Jesus kept His thoughts on His mission and relied on His Father to give Him the tools needed to accomplish the job. He was open to guidance and moved as Holy Spirit led Him. And the entire time, His love and kindness were evident in His words and in the way He lived His life.


It was His whole point in coming. To show the world how much God loves us, yes...


And so, we must also be





But also, to give us a way to reconcile the relationship that Adam and Eve broke when sin was introduced to them by the guiles of the serpent. It caused death and decay to enter our lives. God can't be around that. Once it got in, it got in though. At the root, free will is what it's all about and the temptation to have what we deem will satisfy us is, oh, so strong.


Jesus broke that cycle once for all by coming to live a sinless life. He irradicated death, which means separation from God for eternity—for those of us who choose to accept God's gift to us and declare Jesus as savior and Lord over our lives anyway.


After we're saved, if we're humble about that fact and that fact alone, the realization of what salvation means as far as eternal life is concerned should cause us to want to learn all we can from the Word so we can help others be saved from an eternity of something so horrible we can't even comprehend it.


That must be the ultimate reason that a lot of us treat our salvation more like a "get out of jail free" card that's—again—way more about us feeling good about living in heaven one day than considering the magnitude of what has happened to us. I get that. I did it too. 😞


That's the thing about God though. When we get that we messed up, we tell Him so and start doing things differently. He never EVER holds a grudge. When we allow Holy Spirit to guide and teach us, we slip less and less. Moreover, our relationship with God grows stronger and stronger. You hear Him speak more clearly and His voice grows louder and louder.


In John 16, Jesus shares with His disciples why the Holy Spirit comes to us:


7 However, I am telling you nothing but the truth when I say it is profitable (good, expedient, advantageous) for you that I go away. Because if I do not go away, the Comforter (Counselor, Helper, Advocate, Intercessor, Strengthener, Standby) will not come to you [into close fellowship with you]; but if I go away, I will send Him to you [to be in close fellowship with you].


And when He comes, He will convict and convince the world and bring demonstration to it about sin and about righteousness (uprightness of heart and right standing with God) and about judgment:


About sin, because they do not believe in Me [trust in, rely on, and adhere to Me];


10 About righteousness (uprightness of heart and right standing with God), because I go to My Father, and you will see Me no longer;


11 About judgment, because the ruler (evil genius, prince) of this world [Satan] is judged and condemned and sentence already is passed upon him.


12 I have still many things to say to you, but you are not able to bear them or to take them upon you or to grasp them now.


13 But when He, the Spirit of Truth (the Truth-giving Spirit) comes, He will guide you into all the Truth (the whole, full Truth). For He will not speak His own message [on His own authority]; but He will tell whatever He hears [from the Father; He will give the message that has been given to Him], and He will announce and declare to you the things that are to come [that will happen in the future].


14 He will honor and glorify Me, because He will take of (receive, draw upon) what is Mine and will reveal (declare, disclose, transmit) it to you.


15 Everything that the Father has is Mine. That is what I meant when I said that He [the Spirit] will take the things that are Mine and will reveal (declare, disclose, transmit) it to you.


Get into the Word and consider what it is saying to you, personally. Talk to God about wanting to know Him more. Ask His Holy Spirit how He wants you to show His love to the world and be willing to do as He leads.


He's not going to leave you hanging. Get that running dialogue going. Seriously. Talk to Him about everything! You will experience results beyond measure!


Let's pray.


Father God,

We're coming in the name of Jesus to praise and honor You for having a plan that will not fail. We're sorry when we listen to the liar and think more highly of ourselves than we should. We're sorry when we become desensitized to the suffering that goes on all around us and fail to show Your love and mercy to those less fortunate than ourselves.


Thank you for sending Holy Spirit to guide and direct our lives if we are open and allow it. Prompt us to shine for You in all we do and say. You love "them" as much as us and want none to suffer eternity separated from Your love. We don't want that either. Use us as You see fit from this point forward.


If there are any who read this post and have not yet given their lives to You, may today be the day they realize that those feelings... that tugging... is Your still small voice calling them to You.


Thank you for loving us so—


Amen


Let's remember to focus on others more than ourselves. You'll find it "oddly satisfying," and, then suddenly, it becomes your norm.


See you next time,

Love,

C


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