But if you call yourself a Jew and rely on the law and boast in God and know his will and approve what is excellent, because you are instructed from the law; and if you are sure that you yourself are a guide to the blind, a light to those who are in darkness, an instructor of the foolish, a teacher of children, having in the law the embodiment of knowledge and truth— you then who teach others, do you not teach yourself? While you preach against stealing, do you steal? You who say that one must not commit adultery, do you commit adultery? You who abhor idols, do you rob temples? You who boast in the law dishonor God by breaking the law. For, as it is written, “The name of God is blasphemed among the Gentiles because of you.” Romans 2:17-24
If you do not find yourself in today’s verses, perhaps you need to look a bit closer. If you are a parent you have probably said it and as a child you heard it but how often do we hear, “do as I say, not as I do.” It did not work when I heard it and I am sure it doesn’t work when I have said it. People look at our actions and compare them to our words. When there is a disconnect they tune out what we say.
Paul was writing to people who taught one thing but when they thought no one was looking did another. Perhaps they the opposite of what they taught even when people were looking. One of the biggest charges against Christians is hypocrisy. And yes we are hypocrites, we can’t help it. We never live up to our ideals. Due to our sin nature that is impossible. We tell people how they are supposed to live, yet fall short of the goal ourselves.
What are we to do? Not to stop preaching the Gospel that is for sure. No, we need to always admit our sin and that we too fall short of the goal. What we can do it not take on a Holier than thou attitude. I don’t think it is out preaching but our attitudes that turn off the unbeliever. If we act like we no longer sin then people see how we truly are they turn away from the Gospel. But when we admit we too struggle with our sins and that it is only God’s grace that saves us then people are more likely to listen. And when they listen they can believe and also get the same saving grace we have received.
Christians who have too high an opinion of themselves do more damage to the Kingdom than good. Non believers love to catch us acting like everybody else while professing to live a holy life. We need to be honest. Being a Christian does not mean we are sin free, it just means we are even more aware of our sins. We strive to be better, but only God can make us better.
When we are honest about our struggle and other see how our lives are being changed, then they will want what we have and another person come to the Kingdom.
Have a blessed day,