A professor of ethics at a leading university was attending a convention. He and another teacher of philosophy had lunch at a restaurant and were discussing deep issues of truth and morality. Before they left the table, the professor slipped the silverware into his pocket. Noticing his colleague’s puzzled look, he explained, “I just teach ethics. I need the spoons.”
By vocation that man was paid to instruct his students in the principles of right and wrong. But outside the classroom he failed to put those principles into practice. Profession without practice is hypocrisy, and hypocrisy is sin.
Jesus reminded the hypocrites of His day that God had declared through Isaiah, “These people … honor Me with their lips, but have removed their hearts far from Me” (Isaiah 29:13). He could just as well have cited God’s rebuke to Israel through Ezekiel, “They hear Your words, but they do not do them” (33:32).
The Christian life is like a coin. One side is belief, the other side is behavior. If our behavior isn’t consistent with our belief, we are hypocrites. By God’s enabling grace, we need to bring practice and profession into alignment. We must walk the talk, then we can talk our walk. – Vernon C. Grounds
Unless my talk about my faith
Is mirrored in my walk,
The faith that glibly I profess
Is merely empty talk, – Anon.
How we behave reveals what we truly believe.
- December 10, 1993, Our Daily Bread