This is perhaps one of the most counterproductive statements a parent or student leader could make. Have you ever said it? Most of us have. And the reason is simple. We are not Jesus. We certainly try to imitate Him the best we can, but even our best efforts do not always line up with our convictions…or our instructions to others.
One of my favorite convictions is “Early is on time, on time is late, and late is absolutely unacceptable.” Punctuality is certainly influenced much by culture and is not an absolute for everyone, but showing respect for others is a common standard. During my 15 years of being a Christian school administrator, I have always had the privilege to be in the classroom with students. Currently, I teach advanced mathematics to our senior students. I love spending consistent time with our oldest students before they transition to their next season. Some of them I have known for well over a decade!
But here is the problem. This 2nd-period class happens to occur 1st period on Wednesdays, which I often fail to remember. Multiple times this year I have had to eat humble pie (not my favorite) due to my own tardiness to my Wednesday math class. Just this week, I almost fainted during our Pledge of Allegiance as I had just huffed it up the stairs after carline and barely made it.
In Philippians, Paul encourages us to “work out our own salvation,” as it is God “who works in you.” I like that. My part is to release God to do all the parts in me. In 2 Corinthians Paul proclaims that God’s power is made perfect in our weakness. So perhaps “Do what I say, not as I do” should be replaced with “Let God do in you what you can’t on your own.” Not as catchy, or grammatically correct, but certainly more powerful!