“Do as I say, not as I do.” I’m sure you’ve heard this statement made or maybe have said it yourself. I know I have. Either way, it can be an easy sentiment to relate to. It’s a real conundrum when you are fully aware of your less than great choices but see someone you care about going down a similar path. It’s hard to tell them to stop when you know you haven’t. They can look back at you and say, “But you do the same thing!” A lot of times, it’s just simple things that we utilize this saying for. Things like telling our friends not to take their work home, knowing we take it home on the regular. Or telling our kids not to use their greasy fingers to erase the white board, knowing that we do it all the time when we are in a hurry. We understand the consequences of these choices, but we don’t follow our own advice to avoid them.
Here in these passages, Paul is taking His readers down a similar but more serious path of thinking. Living by faith requires our actions to match our words and our understanding. It’s one thing to know how God calls us to live and another thing to actually live in that way for His glory. If we understand His call to love our neighbor as ourselves but then put ourselves first, what good is that understanding? If we teach others of our call to seek His glory but then seek our own, what good is our teaching? Sometimes it can be hard to practice what we preach, but ultimately, it’s what we’ve been called to do.