They do not practice what they teach…

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Matthew 23:1 Then Jesus said to the crowds and to his disciples, 2 “The scribes and the Pharisees sit on Moses’ seat; 3 therefore, do whatever they teach you and follow it; but do not do as they do, for they do not practice what they teach.

I think the word which describes the Pharisees in this passage is “hypocrite”. I’m not a Pharisee, but I am a religious leader who often fails to do what I teach others to do. I’m human. When people tell me how they struggle sometimes to live according to the will and ways of God I understand – because that’s me too.

A mentor of mine once said that being a leader in the church isn’t about being a “perfect example” of faith for others to follow. Rather, we leaders are called to be “living examples” who struggle with sin like everyone else and yet are being made new every day. That word of grace has been incredibly helpful to me.

And interestingly enough, I find the people in the congregation I serve often appreciate the fact that their pastor knows what it means to struggle with sin and brokenness. I’m no paragon of holiness and virtue. I have lots of rough edges. That said, I am counting on the Lord Jesus Christ to complete the work begun in me. I may have a long way to go to become the man the Lord created me to be, but by the grace of God I have come a a long way. And for this I am eternally grateful.

Lord Jesus you are well aware of my faults, which are many. Left to myself I would be lost completely in my sin. Yet this morning I give thanks to you, my Savior, for by grace you have given me the promise of life. You have brought me back from the brink of death and opened the door for me to be claimed as a child of God. I can never thank you enough for this, but my heart is filled with gratitude this morning. Give me grace to follow after you all the days of my life. It’s in your precious name that I pray. Amen.

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