What you say and do indeed matter. Our words and actions come out of who we are. Our lives speak louder than our words and actions.
Who you are is what shapes the way you talk and do things in life. There’s a text in the Bible, Matthew 23: 1-12, which can help us know “who to avoid being” and “who we should be.”
In this Biblical story, Jesus is presenting two kinds of lifestyle. One has to do with the way the Pharisees and Scribes lived.
And, that’s what you and I don’t have to be. But, Jesus wants us to have a different way of being, which should be different from the Pharisees and Scribes.
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Know that the lifestyle God does not want us to have is hurtful to us and the people in our lives.
Read verses 13 through 36. Jesus, through those verses, presents terrible consequences.
These have to do with the behavior of being the Pharisees or a scribes.The word Jesus is using in those verses is “woe.”
The Greek word that translates into the word, “woe,” stands for three things.
- You’ll experience calamity. These are events, you don’t control, which create deep distress and misery in your life. That also implies an experience of loss in your life and other people’s lives.
- You’ll experience grief as a result.
- God will judge you. In the end, God will punish you.
That’s why we don’t have to choose the Pharisees or Scribes’ way of life. In verses 1 through 12, Jesus describes who you should always avoid being.
To translate what Jesus is talking about, with focus on verses 2 through 7, I will talk about four sets of habits you’ve got to drop if you don’t want to hurt yourself or other people.
Avoid being a person with no integrity
Integrity has to do with matching what you say and do.
Avoid being a person with no long-term commitment
Don’t let other people do it all. Find a way to serve others. By doing so, you’ll lighten the burden of ministry from other people’s shoulders.
Avoid being a person who’s always seeking approval
Don’t seek approval in God’s Church. Once you are here, whether you are sure about your salvation or not, God loves you as you are.
God’s love is also about changing your lifestyle.
Avoid being a person who’s seeking credit and honor
Being a child of God does not have to be about receiving the recognition.
Everything you have now, you don’t deserve it. It’s God’s gift God has given you, not because of your merit. God has done all this because of your faith in Jesus Christ.
All that we’ve described so far is WHO YOU SHOULD NOT BE. And, remember the reason why.
The consequences of living as described above, are hurtful to you and other people in your life.
Here’s Who God wants you to BE
This way, you’ll say and do what builds others up because of who you become through Jesus Christ.
Doing so will help you avoid being like a Pharisee or Scribe. Here’s what you have to do.
First, BE a Student under One Teacher
Read verse 8. Jesus wants you to be a life-long student. In other words, He wants you always to be sitting at His feet.
God wants you to be open to more of God’s love, grace, and power.
Being a student is a sign of humility. We talked about it as one of the five attitudes Every Christian should have. You want to learn more about that; there are still books in the back. Get a copy for yourself.
I teach you every Sunday as well as preach. At the same time as I do all this, I also make sure to continue being a student.
I am a student under Jesus Christ, as my Rabbi. But, I also study and learn from other people.
Choosing to be a student is the only way that can help you grow, as a person and a Christian.
Second, BE a Mentee under One Instructor
You also need an instructor. I look at this as a mentor, spiritual director or a You need a mentor for yourself.
I view an Instructor (mentor) as someone who has had the experience you’re having right now. Now that he or she is out of it, he or she can walk and journey with you in your life.
Unlike a teacher, a mentor does not teach you. A mentor or instructor suggests a better way to live.
That comes out of a personal relationship you establish with this mentor.
If you establish a relationship for support in your life with someone else, that will help you grow. Not only will you grow, but you’ll go deeper in your relationship with God through faith in Jesus Christ.
Last, but not least, BE a Servant of All
You’ve got to be a servant of others. Don’t be like the Pharisees or Scribes.They have good plans and ways to do ministry.
Yet, they let other people do it all. Instead of partnering with the people, they want them to serve, respect and honor them.
Serving others is the only path to greatness in life now, and in the life to come.
The greatest among us is the one who learns how to be a servant of others.
Now, imagine every one of us doing one or two things every week for Christ through our Church! Will we not stop phone calls asking people to fill vacancies we have for next year?
Instead, we’ll only have a list of ministry opportunities in the bulletin. And, everyone will decide how to serve, according to how God leads them. Your new lifestyle will make you: a student, mentee and a servant of others.
This way of life will help you with how to talk and live your life.You will, as a result, have integrity and long commitment to God and God’s people. That is because you’re not seeking approval, credit or honor. Instead, you’ll be humble and willing to love and serve people.