29 Jan Walk with Jesus
All talk; but a very few walk the talk. Whenever I had listened to messages in childhood in my church, I used to have a question always in my mind to all speakers whether they practice what they preach.
I started questioning all. In church, Sunday school and in my home as well until the Lord asked me to practice at least in my life. It was not easy, but the Spirit of the Lord has been empowering me to introspect each time to ensure to walk the talk.
It is easier to speak, preach and teach others. But it is hypocrisy to teach others while we don’t practice the very thing we teach. Here is a personal e.g. I used to tell my children to read Bible. Immediately each time the Holy Spirit prompted me to check in my own life whether I have read Bible before telling them. ‘Our life speaks louder than words that what we speak is not heard’.
We teach others nicely about having faith and trusting in the Lord. But whenever we ourselves face adverse situations in life we forget to apply the same faith. We tent to panic noticeably. Remembering an illustration of a small girl who carried an Umbrella with her when she went for a prayer meeting to pray for rain together with a group of praying people and nobody else carried any umbrella as it was a hot day and clouds were never to be seen.
We promise prayer for all when they request for it. But do we pray? Even when we send the icon of folded hands that indicates prayer in messages, do we tell lie or are we true to ourselves? When we teach students how to take quiet time and the very next day if they don’t see us around taking quiet time, we are not effective in our teaching as we don’t walk the talk. After preaching about being a good citizen of our country by obeying traffic rules and paying taxes, when the time comes if we jump signals and evade tax, are we not hypocrites? We teach about punctuality and if we fail to keep the time, what message we pass on to others? We instruct our children not to over-use mobiles and if we use it uncontrollably we shouldn’t expect them to obey us. We teach nicely about denying ourselves and taking up the cross in following Jesus bearing the shame, humiliation, rejection, pain and suffering and when it comes to our own real-life situations, if we don’t practice it what’s the use of such effective teaching? If we cannot validate in our own lives what we teach or advice others, our efforts will not culminate into fruition, rather they will be in vain.
The best way of teaching is by way of demonstration, by being a role model. Doing it and showing how to do it is the best way to communicate better. And that’s what exactly the greatest teacher of all times the Lord Jesus Christ did in His life. He walked the talk at all times. To teach His disciples how to serve one another, instead of a class room teaching, He washed the feet of His disciples by removing His outer garment and tying a towel around His waist. He not only washed those disciples who were loyal to Him but the feet of the one who was going to betray and harm Him as well. Thus, He taught us how to love and serve even our enemies. He taught about himself that He has come not to be served, but to serve and even give His very life as a ransom for many. What more effective methods He could make use of to communicate, better than what he demonstrated before them! He walked his talk and talked his walk!
Jose Thomas is the UESI Staff for Missions, based in Chandigarh; His wife Lizzy Jose is also on the staff of UESI. They are blessed with three children.