Practice what you preach
‘Practice what you preach’ is a famous idiom that I have heard over the years, but it surprised me to find that the origins came from the Bible.
So you must be careful to do everything they tell you. But do not do what they do, for they do not practice what they preach.Matthew 23:3
This idiom haunted me as I prepared to write to you today. Not only have I written a book based on trusting God and turning to Him first, but many of my teachings and testimony focus on this message. So, my friend, I am here today acknowledging my failure in this during this past week.
A family member visited this week and during our long conversation, they mentioned their concern about their pension benefits and retirement. As the conversation progressed, I realized that I had no clue about my retirement financial situation and was too embarrassed to admit it. After they left, I started digging and making calls. Within two days, I received dreaded news: my pension would probably last only two years after my retirement and at a quarter of my current salary.
It shocked me!
It would be nice to say that I thought of God right away and felt assured He had it in control and would cover all of my needs. Unfortunately, my next group of emotions were fear and a deep sense of anxiety. My sense of giving has always been so strong, I never thought of myself and my future; always living in the present. I realized I had a big problem, and I had to fix it.
As you can guess, everything I just said in the paragraph above is wrong. There are a lot of “I’s” focusing on me. Christ was the farthest thing from my mind. I reached out to another friend who is a financial planner and within days we laid out a plan. A woman of God, even in our conversation speaking of God’s will, my heart still wasn’t focused on Christ but was full of anxiety and the desire to have a plan in place to fix the problem.
A lunch celebration with my Dad and Aunt on Sunday, the first words I exclaimed to them was, “I am in a colossal mess with my retirement and financial plans.” After a long conversation with them, my Aunt smiled and looked over at me, “You rushed in filled with so much anxiety, have you forgotten who provides all of our needs? You are a Godly woman who trusts and believes in God’s goodness and his willingness to always provide. Why did you allow this situation to fill you up with fear?”
My heart wept as soon as I heard her words. I messed up… and I messed up big time! I quickly asked God for forgiveness. And I went home and prayed over the situation, seeking God’s guidance.
Food for thought: I remind myself that I am thankful for my imperfectness, because if I was perfect, I would never need God. I am also thankful for friends and family who are honest enough to ask me the tough questions and remind me of my faith. Do you have godly persons around you who can encourage and help focus you on Christ?
Prayer: Holy Father, forgive us when we let our emotions override our desire to come to you first. I pray for those that may not have godly friends or family who can be reminders of their faith. May you bring into each reader’s life a person of faith who they can journey with. In Jesus’ name. Amen