Are you a person who likes teaching others? Do you continually correct the faults you see in others? Do you talk about the faults of others but do not tell them? Have you taught yourself and fixed your own faults?
It is easy to see the faults in others. We may even see our own faults. Yet we typically do not talk about our faults, while we talk about everyone else’s faults quite often. This is one reason those outside the church do not want to join the church.
The Apostle Paul chastises the church in Rome for doing the very things they teach others not to do. He is not just speaking to individuals, but to the church as a whole. Have you ever thought about the church as a whole?
If the preacher is preaching against stealing, but someone in the church steals, it is a black eye on the entire church. If a Sunday School teacher is teaching against breaking the law, but members break the law anyway, it damages the reputation of the entire church. Think about it. We have all heard someone say they are a member at such and such church and the response is, “Oh, that’s where so and so did such and such bad thing.” We can all fill in the blanks.
Our conduct is a reflection on not only ourselves, but also the church of which we are members. When we, as a group, as a body, are all cognizant of our behavior and focus on fulfilling Christ’s commands, our church will grow. As one of the sayings we used in the Marine Corps states, “our conduct must be above reproach.” That applies to our church as well.
I pray we all take seriously our conduct. I pray we realize our individual conduct reflects on the body of Christ. I pray each one of us will first look to teach ourselves better conduct. Teach yourself. Abide by Jesus’ commands. Be a positive reflection on the church. Attract others with your conduct.
Romans 2:17-24 Now you, if you call yourself a Jew; if you rely on the law and boast in God; if you know his will and approve of what is superior because you are instructed by the law; if you are convinced that you are a guide for the blind, a light for those who are in the dark, an instructor of the foolish, a teacher of little children, because you have in the law the embodiment of knowledge and truth—you, then, who teach others, do you not teach yourself? You who preach against stealing, do you steal? You who say that people should not commit adultery, do you commit adultery? You who abhor idols, do you rob temples? You who boast in the law, do you dishonor God by breaking the law? As it is written: “God’s name is blasphemed among the Gentiles because of you.”