Scripture Reading: “Then will I teach transgressors thy ways; and sinners shall be converted unto thee.” (Psalm 51:13)
The old adage is ever true—You can’t preach, at least not effectively, what you don’t practice. Repentance cannot be preached effectively by the unrepentant. There was no way the penitent David could preach penitence and pardon to others until he himself had been pardoned.
Years ago, I befriended a man in a small town where I pastored. He was not a Christian. Although I repeatedly share the Gospel with him, he remained resolute in his refusal to surrender his life to Christ. He came to church regularly, but never walked the aisle nor came to the altar. When he discovered the difficulty our church was having getting volunteers for our outreach program, he volunteered to help. Afterward, I had to explain to him that until he came to Christ, he would never be a help to our outreach program, but only a hindrance. After all, I explained, how could he, who refused to come to Christ, effectively persuade others to do what he refused to do himself?
David understood that until he was right with God, he had no hope of effectively teaching others to get right with God. In fact, until he was right with God, he would only be an impediment to others getting right with God rather than an inducement for them to do so. How about you, are you hindering or helping others to come to Christ?
“I would be a Christian were it not for Christians.” (Mahatma Gandhi)