Recently on the show we were discussing an email I received. The question was, if a preacher committed adultery in the past should they be allowed to preach today or does that sin preclude them from ever being in ministry again? We discussed our thoughts on the matter and then took a few calls. When we got one from a lady named “Dianne”, it caused me to reflect on my own life.
“Dianne” shared that she was a preacher’s kid and her dad was “one way in front of the church and a totally different way at home.” The man she saw in the pulpit was in direct opposition to the man she experienced in her house.
This conversation caused me to pause and take stock of the man I am on the air and the man I am at home. Are they the same? At work, I am the fun-loving guy with a Godly exterior who extols the virtues and value of living a Christ-centered life, but at home I am not always that. My family gets to see me at my worst. They see my selfishness, my anger, my pettiness, my ego, my greed, my lack of forgiveness, and the list could go on.
The hypocrisy for me is, I talk about God everyday on the show, but fail to always do that in my own home because I feel like a hypocrite. It is hard for me to pray with my family when I have just been a horrible example of patience or kindness.
The question I struggle with is, how can how can I ever lead them when they get a front row seat to all my mess? The obvious answer is be a better person, but no matter how good I am, I feel like I will never be good enough, or blameless enough to be a great example because in the back of my mind, I think my moments of imperfection are not soon forgotten in the minds of my wife and daughter.
When we ask God for forgiveness He gives it immediately and restores us instantly. It is our own guilt that keeps us from experiencing the restoration of that relationship because we are used to people not always extending that sort of unconditional grace to us.
So how do I keep from feeling hypocritical, when my actions are not always in line with my words? How do I share my faith with those around me when I am pretty far from perfect? It might seem crazy, but I feel like when I mess up there is some sort of divine time out I must endure before it is OK to talk about God with others again, in order to be taken seriously. So what do I do?
Truth is I am not 100% sure. I guess it boils down to the fact that I still need to be the spiritual leader in my house even when I do not feel worthy of that title. Maybe I need to let go of the notion that I have to be perfect to lead my family in a Godly manner. Maybe it is more important to make sure that God is always present in our house, despite my imperfections, and rely on forgiveness and grace to cover my mistakes, and allow His message of truth to resonate regardless of the condition of the messenger.