Do I Really Have to Take My Own Advice?

Post by Kathleen Schwab

I haven’t done all that much spiritual teaching, not on any kind of a consistent basis, or in an organized format. Now that I am in the process of publishing a devotional. It’s just starting to hit me that now this applies to me:

Not many of you should become teachers, my fellow believers, because you know that we who teach will be judged more strictly.
— James 3:1, ESV

 My husband has been in the position of regular Christian teaching a few times, and he’s told me that when he is responsible for teaching other people spiritual principles, he feels God pushing him for stricter integrity and higher standards in his personal life. Some of his stories have made me feel God was being unnecessarily hard on him. I mean, harder than I would be. He would feel conviction about things I thought were not wrong, and certainly weren’t any big deal. But when I said so, he replied, “This is how it is. God takes teaching very seriously.”

Turns out he is right. My teaching is about to go out into the world, and I am sensing God getting serious.

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A few days ago I was feeling sad and upset about something, so I called a friend for moral support. She had really good things to say about the situation, gave me perspective, and I felt much better. Then I remembered something. I had been prayer journaling about that exact situation a few weeks before, and I felt God say some specific things about how I should deal with it. In fact, God’s voice, written in my prayer journal, said the same things my friend had just said.

Now, one could say that was a confirmation, but that is not what I sensed. I had the distinct feeling that God was pointing out that I had not listened to Him, and I certainly hadn’t followed His advice. Instead, I simmered and stewed about the situation, and ended up calling my friend.

And this is an area where God is holding me to a higher standard as an author who is publishing a book of excerpts of her prayer journal. Why should anyone listen to what God says to me if I don’t listen to what God says to me? Over the next few days I had more “gotcha” moments, when I realized I was specifically ignoring one or another of the messages shared in Messages from God.

Well, I get the point. I feel very strongly about the key message of Messages from God: An Illuminated Devotional - the need to start bringing God into the everyday moments, and that is how you move towards understanding what eternity with Him means. I am determined to bring this teaching to the world. And I’m going to start with myself.

But I discipline my body and bring it into subjection, lest, when I have preached to others, I myself should become disqualified.
— (1 Corinthians 9:27) NKJV