“Do As I Say, Not As I Do” 

“Do As I Say, Not As I Do” 

Thursday’s Column: Captain’s Blog

Carl Pollard

At the 1993 annual meeting of The American Heart Association, 300,000 doctors, nurses, and researchers met in Atlanta to discuss, among other things, the importance a low fat diet plays in keeping our hearts healthy. Yet during meal times, they consumed fat-filled fast foods such as bacon cheeseburgers and fries at about the same rate as people from other conventions. When one cardiologist was asked whether or not his partaking in high fat meals set a bad example, he replied, “Not me, because I took my name tag off.”

Seeing hypocrisy in the church has caused many people to fall away. Sadly there are some who claim to be Christians, and it’s in name only. These people often give the church a bad reputation. Many in the world look at the church and say that it runs rampant with hypocritical people. 

Being a Christian means following Christ all the time. No natter the circumstances. We can’t just “take our name tag off” so to speak. People are always watching. They’re looking to us on how to act. 1 Thessalonians 2:9 reads, “For you recall, brethren, our labor and hardship, how working night and day so as not to be a burden to any of you, we proclaimed to you the gospel of God.” 

Paul and the other apostles showed the Christians at Thessalonica, by example, how to act. Notice what Paul says: “For you recall, brethren, our labor and hardship.” The Thessalonians could look back and remember the example that the Apostles gave for them to follow. Are we like this? Or are we all talk? People will follow the examples that our actions portray. 

The example that our actions set are powerful. 

So the question is, “what kind of example are we setting?” We can have only two types of example–good or bad. Our example, whether good or bad, can decide the eternal fate of those that see our actions. Paul and the apostles set a great example for the church at Thessalonica. 

Paul writes in Philippians 4:9, “What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me—practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.” We see from this how Paul’s example was so good that he tells the Philippians to practice it and God would be with them. Are we confident enough to say this to another Christian? We must be careful that we show by the way we live that we truly believe what we preach to others. 

Loving Our Christian Family (1 John, Part 13)

Loving Our Christian Family (1 John, Part 13)

Wednesday’s Column: Third’s Words

Gary Pollard

I’ll be repeating the book of I John in present-day terminology. It’s not a true translation of the book, as I am not qualified to do so. It will be based on an exegetical study of the book and will lean heavily on the SBL and UBS Greek New Testaments, as well as comparisons with other translations (ESV, NASB, NIV, ERV, NLT). My goal is to reflect the text accurately, and to highlight the intent of the author using concepts and vocabulary in common use today. 

This is not an “essentially literal” translation, and should be read as something of a commentary. 

Love, Pt. 2

Everyone who believes that Jesus is the king who came from God should also love everyone who belongs to God. When we love God and practice what he commanded, that’s how we know we love his family, too. We prove that we love God when we do what he’s commanded, and those commands aren’t difficult to live out. 

If you’re a part of God’s family, you’ve already beaten the world. Our faith is how we’ve won — if you believe that Jesus is God’s son, you’ve won in our spiritual battle against the world! 

Loving Our Christian Family (1 John, Part 12)

Loving Our Christian Family (1 John, Part 12)

Wednesday’s Column: Third’s Words

Gary Pollard

This is how we know that we’re with him and he’s with us: he gave us his spirit. We were there, we saw firsthand that the father sent his son on a mission to save the world. Whoever agrees that Jesus is actually God’s son is with God, and God is with them. Because we saw him, we came to believe and really understand the kind of selfless love that God has for us. God is love. The one who practices love is with God, and God is with them. 

This love is being matured in us for reason: so we can be completely confident on the last day when everyone is judged. If we have selfless love, we’re considered to be as pure as Jesus was when he was on earth. Love leaves no room for being afraid. If we mature our love, that love keeps us from being afraid. If we live in fear of judgment day, it’s because we haven’t matured in our love. 

We practice love because he loved us first. If someone says, “I love God,” but still hates their Christian family, they’re a liar. How’re you supposed to love a God you can’t see while failing to love a Christian family you can see? It’s not possible. Remember the commands he gave us: we have to love God and love our Christian family, too.