Well then: if you’re going to teach someone else, aren’t you going to teach yourself? If you say people shouldn’t steal, do you steal? If you say people shouldn’t commit adultery, do you commit adultery?
This is what the Bible says: “Because of you, God’s name is blasphemed among the nations!”
I was at this church planting forum last week, and the final presenter shared that young people are leaving the evangelical faith of their parents in record numbers. One of the main reasons given is seeing so many people proclaiming faith in Christ whose day-to-day lives resemble nothing like what they profess to believe in.
When we fail to live out what we say we believe in, we not only fail to be a light for Christ, but we contribute to turning people away from Christ.
Now this is not to put undue pressure on us, for it is ultimately up to the person to seek God from their heart. But perhaps we do need some healthy pressure to be for real in what we claim. To examine ourselves to see if we really do believe what we say we believe, or even what we think we believe.
One of the many not-so-obvious sins I’ve personally witnessed as especially destructive is gossip. Incessant, unnecessary, virulent talk about others causes loathsome relational destruction. Scripture is beyond clear and plentiful with regard to this evil. It should not be present among us who believe in and follow Jesus.