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  • Writer's pictureShawntel Hibbler

Do as I say, not as I do!

Oooooh man. I may step on a few toes with this one! How many of us grew up hearing those words? And if we didn't explicitly hear those words, did it feel like the actions of our parents/leaders/elders mirrored that saying?

It just seemed so normal, right? I mean, after all, we were kids and they were the adults. It just made sense. So much so, that I had pretty much mirrored that saying with my own children. But just the other day, God stopped me in my tracks. I kid you not, I heard the Holy Spirit say, "How do you expect them to live a life you aren't even living?" Talk about a gut punch.

I was expecting so much out of my children. Getting up and out to school on time with no issues even if we had a late night, having a spotless room everyday, studying everyday even if there are sports pactices or dance classes, doing their homework and their devotional, not forgetting any hygeineic tasks, etc, etc etc. And to do all of these things without having attitudes, without being sluggish or moving too slowly. But God put it to me plain as day. When I have a rough day, don't I lay down and recoup? If I've had a late night, even when I get up at regular time in the morning, don't I move a little slower? When I am mentally exhausted from work or just plain ol tired, do I fully clean my room? How could I expect so much of them, yet have so much grace for myself?

When Jesus preached about love, He didn't then go about spewing hate or sowing discord amongst others. He DEMONSTRATED what "love" looks like. It wasn't a "figure it out on your own" kind of deal. He was committed to providing tangible ways of following His principles by being the blueprint. When slapped with the reality of my hypocritical ways, I realized leading by example had to start with me.

How often do we provide ourselves with an abundance of grace, yet hold others to the fire about things? How often are we so quick to condemn someone for a forgotten task, or a misplaced attitude, yet we were just snippety with someone else? It's so easy to hold others accountable for their mess, yet so difficult to remove the plank from our own eye.

Today, let's vow to take a beat and inspect our own way of doing things. It's great to give yourself grace, but we must also remember that we must lead by example. What's one area that you have noticed you can improve in to be a better example?

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