We’ve been considering, based on 1st Thessalonians 2, the kind of input we need if we’re to grow and mature as Christians. While doing this I was reminded of a poem that spoke deeply to me as a parent and pastor. I’ve reflected on it many times and agree with the poet:
“I’d rather see a sermon than hear one any day. I’d rather one would walk with me than merely show the way. I can soon learn how to do it if you’ll let me see it done, I can watch your hands in action, but your tongue too fast may run. And the lectures you deliver may be very wise and true, but I’d rather learn my lesson by observing what you do. For I may misunderstand you and the high advice you give. But there is no misunderstanding how you act, and how you live.”
Do you agree with the point the poet makes? Christian teachers or mentors should be experiencing in their own lives what they’re encouraging others to pursue. We shouldn’t expect perfection in them. But we should expect honesty, integrity, genuineness and authenticity. If they fail, we should expect a willingness to acknowledge their failure. If we fail as we try to follow their teaching and training, we should expect understanding, gentleness and comfort, and a renewed challenge to press on to maturity.
Ask yourself, does this resonate with my experience? Do a reality check.