Belief and Lifestyle
Several years ago, a couple called me and asked if they could sit with me to discuss some issues. I am not a counselor, but I am always willing to be a sounding board to help in any way I can.
The couple were going through a variety of struggles -- one of which was financial. Both the husband and the wife had been hit with pay cuts and layoffs, which are stressful by nature.
Outside of his current profession, the husband was certified as an athletic trainer. Knowledgeable about strength conditioning and nutrition, his personality was embracing and enthusiastic, so being a trainer was a real possibility. There was one problem, though...the man was not in good physical shape. He was probably a good 25-30 pounds overweight -- he didn’t look awful, but he did not look trim and fit either.
During their conversation with me, the wife gently brought up that fact. Her husband responded that even though he was not in shape, he knew what it took to be in shape and could still help others. I agreed with that statement, but I also told him that the majority of individuals looking for a personal trainer want to see someone who “practices with what they preach.” After much discussion, he agreed.
I mention the couple because, for the next four weeks, we will be focusing on Matthew 5–7. This passage is commonly called, “The Sermon on the Mount” and is the longest continuous teaching of Jesus recorded. In Philippians, our prior focus, Paul was speaking to people who knew little about what it meant to be devoted to God. In the Sermon on the Mount, however, Jesus is talking to people who were definitely more versed in their devotion to God.
The challenge that rings true in these three short chapters is that, as followers of Christ, our belief should shape our lifestyle...in other words, we need to practice what we preach!
So, read ahead and let’s make sure we match up our beliefs with our lifestyles!
As for the couple I spoke of, fast forward to today and they are doing great!