Practice What You Preach

Genesis 19:14 – “And Lot went out, and spake unto his sons in law, which married his daughters, and said, Up, get you out of this place; for the LORD will destroy this city. But he seemed as one that mocked unto his sons in law.”

Something did not ring true in Lot’s character. Through “vexed with the filthy manner of life of the wicked” (2 Peter 2:7), his own compromise had made his testimony ineffective and hypocritical. His sons-in-law could not take what he said at face value.

A strange dog came to a preacher’s house, and his three sons soon became quite fond of the stray dog. The animal’s tail had three white hairs in it, and one day an advertisement appeared in the newspaper about a dog which fitted that description perfectly. “In the presence of my three boys,” said the minister, “I carefully separated the three white hairs and removed them.” The real owner had heard where his straying dog had found a home and came to claim him. His pet showed every sign of recognition, so the man was ready to take him away. Quickly the minister spoke, “Didn’t you say the dog would be known by three white hairs in its tail? The owner, unable to find this identifying feature, was forced to leave.

The minister said later, “We kept the dog, but I lost my three sons for Christ.” His sons no longer had confidence in what their father professed. He hadn’t practiced what he preached!

It is possible to be orthodox in doctrine but repudiate it by unorthodox action. Our Christian influence upon our family and close friends may be negated by saying one thing and living another. Although a “righteous man” (2 Peter 2:8), Lot had engaged in the affairs of Sodom until his sons-in-law discounted any words of warning he gave. Fathers and mothers, beware of losing your influence for Christ by living inconsistently before your children!