Years ago, late at night, a fistfight began just outside of my college dorm room. As I opened the door, I was surprised to see the president of the campus Peace Society with his fists flying. My mind wandered to his eloquent expressions of his passion for peace. I remembered that he also participated in Vietnam War peace demonstrations in Washington, D.C. And I thought, “What hypocrisy!”
I am reluctant to share this illustration since close observers of my own life could easily find similar hypocrisy. However, I learned during that dorm conflict that oftentimes it is easier to talk about peace and walk for peace than to live a life of peace.
I have found it easier to talk about following Jesus than to do the more difficult task of incarnating Jesus in my own life. Jesus warns me of this very thing as he describes the Pharisees.
The religious scholars and Pharisees are competent teachers in God’s law. You won’t go wrong in following their teachings on Moses. But be careful about following them [The Pharisees]. They talk a good line, but they don’t live it. They don’t take it into their hearts and live it out in their behavior. It’s all spit-and-polish veneer. (Matthew 23:2-4 The Message)
Living out the life of Jesus is more easily discussed than lived out! Will you join me this week in matching our words and deeds?