Do As I Say Not As I Do

Do as I say, not as I do.

I’m not sure where I first heard that phrase. Maybe it was a teacher in my high school who taught such things as etiquette who was eating like a slob in the cafeteria.

When I was in college, I often heard students in the Education Department talking about how they didn’t want to be role models. They would just impart “knowledge” intellectually divorced from personality and behaviour. These would have been among the first Baby Boomers–the “Me Generation.”

Unfortunately, they were role models. You cannot escape it.

I was shocked and dismayed by the phrase when I first heard it; and the phrase still makes me sick to the stomach.

That saying also reminds me of the vocal element of American Christianity. They delight in pointing out to others how they should be living. Sort of modern Pharisees. Clean on the outside and dirty on the inside as Jesus pointed out once.

The world is changed by your example, not by your opinion.

Are you a parent? Ever notice how your kids pick up on your bad habits rather than listening to your good advice.

Worse, ever catch yourself doing something that you really disliked when your parents did it?

Picture a protestor who doesn’t like whatever cause the marchers represent. He has speakers on his hat, an amplifier on his back, and a microphone. “JESUS LOVES YOU,” he shouts.

What is the message? Jesus loves them? Or, I hate you and all you stand for?

The writer of the Letter to the Hebrews in the New Testament talks about being surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses. Sometimes I am quite embarrassed.

How about you?

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