How do people in the world see me? Our reputation either undergirds or undermines our ministry. Am I seen as a hypocrite—saying one thing on Sunday in the church and living a different way on Monday in the community?
There is no way to effectively reach the lost, if I engage in wickedness while professing holiness. Sinners may not like what I have to say and what I stand for, but I can have their respect if there is a visual consistency of conduct that connects with the verbal message I communicate.
How people see us in the world will cause us to be either a stumbling block or a stepping stone. We will prove to be bridges to bring people to Christ or barriers to turn them away. God help us!
“A good testimony,” is one where the pastor’s words and works are in harmony. We must share a testimony with our lips, but that will be reinforced or ruined by what we say with our life. Actions do speak louder than words—an old cliché, but nonetheless true, despite its familiarity. When all is said and done, I fear there is more said, than done—especially from the pulpit!
The saddest thing of all is that God is grieved by our hypocrisy. That is something He hates. But it is also tragic that others are repulsed by it. We must know that even the hypocrite suffers from it, as we “fall into reproach and the snare of the devil.”
The pastor called to shepherd God’s flock has a high standard set for him. But, we must, in the power of the Holy Spirit commit to it.
Holy God,Have I given the enemy an occasion to blaspheme? Forgive me! Do you mourn, while Satan laughs at the inconsistencies of my life? Lord, have mercy! Deliver us from hypocrisy. Make us to have a credible testimony—all the way to the end. Never let us stumble! If it could happen to David, it can happen to me—and with what bitter fruit! Too many of your men have found themselves on the spiritual casualty list—grant us grace to overcome and stay true!
In the Name of the Great Shepherd, Jesus,