Do As I Say, Not As I Do

Today’s Journey Through Scripture Readings
Exodus 29-30; Matthew 21:23-46


28 “What do you think? A man had two sons. Now he came to the first and said, ‘Son, go and work in the vineyard today.’

29 “‘No, I don’t want to,’ he replied. But later he changed his mind and went.

30 “The father said the same thing to the other son, who replied, ‘Yes, sir.’ But he didn’t go.

31 “Which one of these two did his father’s will?”

They said, “The first one.”

Jesus said to them, “I assure you that tax collectors and prostitutes are entering God’s kingdom ahead of you. 32 For John came to you on the righteous road, and you didn’t believe him. But tax collectors and prostitutes believed him. Yet even after you saw this, you didn’t change your hearts and lives and you didn’t believe him (Matthew 21:23-46, Common English Bible).

“Do as I say, not as I do.” I know you have heard it said before. Perhaps you even live those words. Question: How’s that working out for you?

I remember as a kid my dad telling me I shouldn’t smoke. He said it was bad for me. It would be better for me if I didn’t. It was bad for my health. And, I would save money if I didn’t smoke (The reason I actually quit smoking). As he was saying this, he was smoking. You know what is coming, right? I started smoking when I was 15. I am not saying my dad was at fault for what I was doing. That was all on me. Still, I thought what my dad was saying was pretty hypocritical.

The thing is, “Do what I say, not what I do) doesn’t work. It never has and it never will. When our actions match our words people tend to listen to us far more often.

In today’s lesson, Jesus talks about a man and his two sons. The man gave the sons something to do. One said he wouldn’t, and did. The other said he would, and yet he did not. Jesus then asks, which one of them did the will of their father? The answer of the Pharisees was, “the first one.”

The answer has to be the first son. He was the only one who actually did something. He was the only one who did what the father asked for. Though he said he wouldn’t do it, he did anyway.

What I see here is a case of, “judge me by my actions, not by my words.” I think that is how we should see people. I am not crazy about the idea of “judging” people. Still, actions are the thing that carries the freight when people see us, they do judge us by our actions, regardless of what I think about judging people.

Please understand, words are important. Our words can hinder or they can help. They can say sweet nothings or they can be used to rip someone apart. So words do matter. But it is actions that matter most.

As I see this scene is playing out because the first son said he wouldn’t do the job, the father wouldn’t suspect that son A did it. Because the second son said he would do the job, the father is going to believe it was the second son at work. His words were good but he didn’t follow through.

I can’t imagine telling my father no when he gave me a chore to do. There would have been serious repercussions. My father listened to your words and took action himself.

I think the first son realized he was wrong and took action to fix the problem. The second son, not so much.

I learned when I was a kid to say, “Yes Sir.” to my dad when he gave me an assignment. Then I followed through. It is what we all should do.

Our actions need to match the words we say.

Have a blessed day in the Lord.

With joy and thankfulness.

Copyright 2018, J. Keith Broyles, All Rights Reserved


Published by drjkbroyles

I love Mike Ashcraft's book, "My One Word." For the past nine years I have participated and encouraged others to participate to in the "My One Word" Challenge. My first word was discipline was my word the first year. Since then my word has been focus, sight, jungle, peace, concentration, serve, genuine and this year is fit. I seek to be fit for my health, my family, my church, my ministries. I seek to be fit in any are of my life where God might point to me. I also have a nickname, "Dr. B." When I was a public high school teacher, Dr. B. is what most of my students called me, at least in my presence. I am still called that by many people though I no longer teach in public schools. I am the author of "Average Joe: With an Extraordinary Story" (available on Amazon). The book fits into the genre of "Biblical Fiction" or "Christian Fiction" and features some of the Bible's lesser known characters. The name of my blog is, "Fork in the Road." Life is filled with forks in the road. It isn't a matter of if we encounter a fork in the road, but when will we and how many will we experience in a lifetime. I love to strum my guitar. I am not a great guitar player but I enjoy it. I also enjoy writing music. I get excited with I feel a new song emerging. I live with my wife Cindy and our little dog, "Bishop" in Lufkin, Texas. I spent the past 30 years as a United Methodist pastor, serving churches all over east and southeast Texas, from just north of Tyler to south of Houston, from the Gulf Coast to east of Madisonville. I currently serve Perritte Memorial UMC in Nacogdoches. I spent one year in the classroom, teaching High School government, economics, psychology, and sociology. Cindy and I have been married for 43 years. We have two grown sons and six grandchildren, three boys and three girls. I enjoy preaching and all it's aspects from research to writing to the actual preaching event. I also love writing, reading. I have dabble in drawing and "painting" with pastels as well as woodworking and woodcarving. My current projects are two ukuleles. I collect, repair and restore guitars too. I play the guitar (badly, but I still do) I also enjoy working with paracord on various projects, mostly prayer ropes I usually give away. I hold an Associate of Applied Science Degree in Business Data Processing, from San Jacinto College in Pasadena, TX, a Bachelor of Science in Political Science with a minor in History from Sam Houston State University in Huntsville, TX, a Master of Divinity from Southern Methodist University in Dallas, TX and a Doctor of Ministry from Carolina University of Theology. This blog started out as devotional writings. In August of 2020, I made a major change to the blog, switching to a daily theme format. Sunday Sermon-usually my manuscript sermon Miscellaneous Monday-misc. writing, poetry, ministry Tuesday Thoughts-Devotion Wed. with Wesleys-hist. & theol. of early Methodists TED Talk Thursday-Video & appl. in current theology Five for Friday-5 things I've seen & my thoughts Sing-Along Sat. - Usually a new song I have written I write, "Strumming a G-Chord with Dr.B." to get my thoughts onto something permanent. After all, they say, once something is on the internet it never really goes away. Still, I hope you enjoy reading it. Who knows, it might generate a bit of discussion between you and me and anyone else who might make their way here. Seeking the Genuine, Keith Lufkin, Texas August 2020

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