While in college, a professor of mine would regularly share this quote by Mark Twain in class, “If you know you have to swallow a frog, swallow it first thing in the morning. If there are two frogs, swallow the big one first.” The expression is often used when a person is faced with either a hard choice to make or a hard task to complete. Twain’s point, as my professor pointed out, was to take the biggest one first, conquer it, and then move on to the next. Some things in life we just have to face, deal with, and move forward. It may not be easy, but then again, I’m not sure if eating a frog is supposed to be easy.
Lately, God has been doing some strong “heart checks” within me. I’ve been coming across some scriptures that are, well, they’re hard frogs to swallow. The one today, is especially hard to swallow:
Live What You Preach
Whether we know it or not, at the core of being a Christian, every person is called to be a missionary and a preacher. Some of us get paid for speaking, and some of us go overseas to do missions. However, every one of us are called to give witness to the life and power of Jesus (preach) everywhere we go (missions). Therefore, how we live and what we say bears much weight, and both need to line up with the other or else our witness fails.
Does this mean we have to live pristine lives? NO. We are humans. We fail. It’s only through Jesus that we do anything right. It’s only in Him that our weakness turns to strength. In this understanding then, when we give witness about how great Jesus is, our life needs to match up what we’re professing. Otherwise we become guilty of hypocrisy. And who buys into something that is built upon a foundation of hypocrisy?
Here are the verses that got me:
Ezekiel 2:8, “But you, son of man, hear what I say to you, Be not rebellious like that rebellious house.” God was instructing the Prophet Ezekiel to not follow in the paths of Israel, but to be a voice to the people. Bible commentator, Charles Feinberg, says, “if (Ezekiel) was to denounce (Israel’s) resistance to the will of God, he could not be found opposing that same will.”
Romans 2:3-4, 6, 11, 21-23, “So when you, a mere human being, pass judgment on (others) and yet do the same things, do you think you will escape God’s judgment? Or do you show contempt for the riches of his kindness, forbearance and patience, not realizing that God’s kindness is intended to lead you to repentance? .. God ‘will repay each person according to what they have done’ .. For God does not show favoritism .. you, then, who teach others, do you not teach yourself? You who preach against stealing, do you steal? You who say that people should not commit adultery, do you commit adultery? You who abhor idols, do you rob temples? You who boast in the law, do you dishonor God by breaking the law?”
James 3:1, “Not many of you should become teachers, my brothers, for you know that we who teach will be judged with greater strictness.” The message we give, needs to match the life we live. I like how Joe Dallas puts this passage into simplest form, “Get it Right. Give it Right. Live it Right.”
Not doubt, this is a hard frog to swallow, but one we need to definitely get down.