Proverbs 2:9 Then shalt thou understand righteousness, and judgment, and equity; yea, every good path.
1 Corinthians 9:27 But I discipline my body and keep it under control, lest after preaching to others I myself should be disqualified.
It sure is easy to give out advice but another thing to live the advice being offered. The word of God is constantly admonishing us to make sure that we put into action what we are preaching. If we do not do as we preach, then we become self-deceived. James 1:22 Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.
It is so easy to say what should be done and then not proceed to do it ourselves. We have to be aware that we do not simply pontificate to achieve a status as a great orator and end up with no substance of the heart. Jesus was having to bring this sin in the open on a constant basis. The Scribes and Pharisees were excellent at public showings, but bankrupt when it came to the substance of their souls. Mark 12:40 Yet they shamelessly cheat widows out of their property and then pretend to be pious by making long prayers in public. Because of this, they will be more severely punished.
It is always so disappointing to the general public when a sports phenom or member of the privileged authorities ends up morally crashing because they were caught doing the very opposite of what they claimed their lives stood for. Many a person who had been preaching an honest lifestyle ended up caught up in a scandal or embezzlement scheme that hurt a lot of the citizens. Rom. 2:22a You who say that people should not commit adultery, do you commit adultery?
It is such a let down to our idea of what is right that discouragement steps in to create a state of abandoned helplessness. Psalm 12:1 Help, LORD, for no one is faithful anymore; those who are loyal have vanished from the human race. We have to become men and women of our word and stick to it even when it might cost us time, money, or something of value. Matt. 5:37 Just say a simple, ‘Yes, I will,’ or ‘No, I won’t.’ Anything beyond this is from the evil one.
As I write this I am preaching to myself because I need to take my own advice and do what the Lord and His word has taught me to do. It is so easy to say, “Love the sinner but hate the sin.” The sentence just rolls off my tongue with little human effort, but am I able to put it into practice?
The word of God clearly says to pray for our enemies and for those who sin against us. Great theory and easy to say, but oh to actually do it. Matt. 5:44 But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you. Ouch! I’m going to need your help here Lord. Someone said, “Opinions are like belly buttons. Everyone has one.” I venture to say that advice is similar: everybody has some. May we all become people of substance and truth and live our own advice.
Peter had to make a decision about whether he was going to follow his own advice. His public declaration that he would never forsake Jesus came back to bite his ego very hard. He had to deal with his own hypocrisy. After living the bitterness of that experience, he recommits his heart to the Lordship of Christ and becomes an apostle of renowned.
From that point on Peter begins to take his own advice to heart and live what he is being taught by the other apostles and the Holy Spirit. We know this because in Galatians chapter 2 Paul confronts Peter for his hypocrisy concerning eating with the Gentiles and the negative influence his hypocrisy caused. As time goes by, Peter again changes his heart and attitude toward the fact that God is for all mankind and not just the Jews.
Doing what the word of God says to do is how we become skilled at following our God-inspired advice. When we follow our conscience that is dedicated to the Lord, we will be able to take our own advice with a confidence that comes from God. May the advice I give come from a practiced, proven, and lived lifestyle that gives honor to God and my fellow man. In Jesus name!