“I’ve become just about every sort of servant there is in my attempt to lead those I meet into a God-saved life. I did this all because of the Message.” 1 Corinthians 9:22 (The Message)
“Always be ready to make your defense to anyone who demands from you an accounting for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and reverence.” 1 Peter 3:15 (NRSV)
“Preach at all times; when necessary, use words.” (Attributed to St. Francis of Assisi)
The press is full of the stories. Such and such Pastor or youth group leader or church elder or even football coach has violated the faith they say they profess. Scandal is all over the place. Before we get too angry about the failures of leaders, however, perhaps we can look within our own hearts and lives. Scandalous behavior isn’t confined to leaders; in fact, the difference between our own shadowy impulses, like anger and defensiveness, and scandal is as thin as the choice whether or not to act.
So, here is the challenge for today. As we read the scriptures and as we pray, let us ask God to change us from the inside out, to become the kind of people we would like to be. The old proverb (not in the Bible) says, “Lord, make me as wonderful as my dog thinks I am.” Let the message of the scriptures take root in your heart. Then, your life will preach in ways stronger and deeper than mere words.