I know there have been many times I have caught myself being hypocritical but by the time I realize it, words have been spoken. In my leadership role, I must take time to carefully consider what I say…and do the action that I speak.
A Warning Against Hypocrisy
Then Jesus said to the crowds and to his disciples: 2 “The teachers of the law and the Pharisees sit in Moses’ seat. 3 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. 4 They tie up heavy, cumbersome loads and put them on other people’s shoulders, but they themselves are not willing to lift a finger to move them.
5 “Everything they do is done for people to see: They make their phylacteries wide and the tassels on their garments long; 6 they love the place of honor at banquets and the most important seats in the synagogues; 7 they love to be greeted with respect in the marketplaces and to be called ‘Rabbi’ by others.
8 “But you are not to be called ‘Rabbi,’ for you have one Teacher, and you are all brothers. 9 And do not call anyone on earth ‘father,’ for you have one Father, and he is in heaven. 10 Nor are you to be called instructors, for you have one Instructor, the Messiah. 11 The greatest among you will be your servant.12 For those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.
Verse 3 I found so convicting, and close to an expression we often say today, “Do as I say, not as I do”, and to that, we should say, “Practice what you preach”. But there is an unlined theme in those words. Grace. I must speak what is written and with care and concern. Never speak and change the wording to suit yourselves or give you power above others. Furthermore practice what you preach or you will never be trustworthy in the eyes of others. I also find interesting that we should not call anyone on earth Rabbi, father, or instructors. We are all only servants, yet I am so guilty.
Honor God with the titles that He deserves and don’t give those titles to others. That will be very difficult to do, but if I think before speaking, I would hope it is easier than I think. I also have to make sure that I simply speak what is written and not mold the scripture to what I want it to say, or what I think others want to hear. Reading scripture in context certainly helps, but also writing it and memorizing so that it is always at hand and in my heart.
Lord, help me see that being a leader means I’m only to lead. Help me to always see that You and You alone are the leader for me. I am only a sheep in the pasture and it is You that will appoint others to follow my steps. Help me to think before speaking, but to never speak any words that don’t honor You. Help me to remember that I am always a servant…and nothing more.