in an attempt to redeem the time (eph 5:16) and take every thought captive (2 cor 10:5), i will often tell myself little sermons when stuck in traffic or sitting on the can, and in an attempt to not be a self-imposed hypocrite i actually try to practice what i preach (james 1:22) – not just practice preaching… to myself. J
today was a classic practical example.i had an appointment at 9:15 am, and first had to go get some stuff from a friend’s 25th floor apartment. upon arrival, i found that just the day before that the complex installed an elevator card reader and i since i didn’t have one i wasn’t permitted to get on. i had to go through a small interrogation from the security guard before he let me on, and thus the sermon to the audience of “me” began. “remember 1 cor 10:24 and phil 2:14” the voice began. on my fleshly side i wanted to complain about why 2 security guards and 2 different building locks wasn’t considered enough security for my friend’s apartment – and how the acrostic for the word china means “Convenience Here Is Not Allowed”…but i resisted. instead, the sermon continued…”mark 12:30-31 – love God and love others…”i eventually got about 75 lbs worth of luggage to take back down stairs only to find that the elevator won’t let me back down stairs either!
this is where the preacher inside me starts pounding his fists and his voice raises as sweat runs from his brow. continued my mock sermon with rom 8:28, 1 thessalonians 5:18 and prov. 15:13 about how all things work together for the good, to give thanks in all circumstances and that a happy heart makes a cheerful face. as i went down 25 flights of dark and uneven stairs the mantra of phil 2:14 grew louder and louder and the preacher got off his three-point sermon and screamed thpoint do all things without complaining… which i continued to repeat over and over again to my audience of me.
i got in the van – drenched in sweat – like you’d expect an exubernt, passionate preacher – and drove away… just to find that the one route to the place where i was going was cut off which quickly translated in my head that i was destined to be late. 1 peter 1:14-15 says “do not to be conformed to your former passions and to be holy because God is holy.”
“ouch preacher!” says my fleshly side, ” why can’t you be one of those warm-fuzzy preachers like the ones on tv!?! i want to cuss everything around me, so tell me some pop psychology about how cussing makes you feel better and isn’t that what God really wants?”
the preacher went on, “ephesians 4:29 says to let nothing unwholesome come out of your mouth but only what is useful for building others up” and v.31 says to let all bitterness, wrath and anger be put away from you, and 1:11 says that all things happen according to God’s will… besides, remember phil 2:14 again – do eeeeevvvveeeerrrryyyyything without complaining or arguing and 1 john 4:4 says that he who is in you is greater than he who is in the world…”
what helped at this point was that my kick-booty wife called and prayed with me. i arrived at my meeting late, but the people i was meeting were later than i was. it ended up being a good meeting… and a good morning… with some unexpected, but much needed exercise.