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“Why Don’t You Practice What You Preach?”

Lou Coleman-Yeboah

By Lou Coleman-Yeboah

You hypocrite! The Bible teaches us that it is vital to our witness of the Gospel to live what we preach, or we will bring reproach on the Word of God! You ought to know that God takes seriously the call to practice what we preach! Instead of just talking the talk, why won’t you walk the walk! Pretending to be something that you are not! Saying one thing and then doing the opposite. Acting one way in a certain setting and then acting another way in a different setting! I tell you, before you practice preaching, you had better practice what you preach.  

We are the body of Christ for the world and our integrity of faith is on the line. Therefore, it is very important that as Christians, we follow the example of Jesus Christ. It doesn’t matter where we are or who we are with. The words we speak and the things we do should always reflect our faith.  But naw, you are good at telling other people what they should do and how they should live, but you fail to follow your own instructions. No wonder Jesus told the crowds and his disciples to do what the Pharisees and the scribes teach them to do, “but do not do as they do, for they do not practice what they teach” [Matthew 23:3]. I want you to know that nothing kills credibility faster than not practicing what is preached.

But this is nothing new. A long time ago, in the nation of Israel, the priests of the old covenant were under the same obligation, to practice what they preached. When they failed to live up to the message they were teaching, God sent the prophet Malachi to “remind” them. “You have turned aside from the way and have caused many to falter by your instruction” [Malachi 2:8]. They were not practicing what they preached, and God was watching. He warned them to return to their faith, lest He should turn their blessing into a curse! It is a very strong message. Not only to priest, preachers, deacons, teachers and their families; it applies to every Christian alike.

Listen, Christ as the master teacher taught his disciples not only by Word but by example [John 13:15]. He demonstrated by His living how we should live before our heavenly Father. To understand the importance of learning to practice what you preach, British-born American writer Edgar A. Guest wrote: “I’d rather see a sermon than hear one any day, I’d rather one should walk with me than merely show the way. The eye’s a better pupil and more willing that the ear; Fine counsel is confusing, but example’s always clear; and the best of all preachers are the men who live their creeds, for to see the good in action is what everybody needs. I can soon learn how to do it if you’ll let me see it done. I can watch your hands in action, but your tongue too fast may run. And the lectures you deliver may be very wise and true; but I’d rather get my lesson by observing what you do. For I may misunderstand you and the high advice you give, but there’s no misunderstanding how you act and how you live.” Practice what you preach! “We are the light of the world. A city built on a hill cannot be hid.” [Matthew 5:14]. “Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says! [James 1:22]

 

About Lou Coleman