“For we preach not ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord…”
2 Corinthians 4:5
Friend and foe of Christianity alike have an ingrained tendency to forget that Christ is the object of the faith not the by-product of human endeavor. Thankfully, the truth of the gospel does not rest upon my performance for I do not practice what I preach.
I practice being a very flawed man, who with spiritual guidance, is doing his utmost to imitate perfection. Of course, that effort is doomed to failure at many points along the journey of a single life.
I preach Jesus Christ, God Incarnate, who willingly took upon Himself the sins of imperfect people like me that He might shine the divine light into them and through them across eternity.
That I have received everlasting grace and mercy does not permit me to use those gifts as an excuse to continue in an unaltered life, neither does it prevent me from failing in my efforts to live a new life.
Reception of the gospel and the Lordship of Christ has recalibrated my path but left my hands on the wheel. The voice of the Spirit telling me to make a right turn is just that—a guiding voice. It is up to me to turn the wheel. However, once I respond as directed, I receive help to stay on the road.
Hypocrisy is pretending to be something one is not. Sin is failing to hit the mark. It is only when I claim to have arrived at the perfection of Christ and fail that I am guilty of hypocrisy. I often remind myself that not all men have this knowledge.
Do I expect to arrive at that perfection? Yes, in the sense that I will be taken up into the life of Christ at my earthly death. I say taken up in the sense that I will share the divine life, its perfection, and its power. I will continue to live a life that is uniquely mine.
In the meanwhile, I am a new man living somewhere between the old man that I was and the finished man I am becoming. Expect me to fall flat on my face one day and soar the next. From that place, I dare, in my own fashion, to preach Christ to all who would hear.