Two weeks ago at an IHOP, our team of youth directors sat around planning out the rest of the semester. It’s a good time filled with lots of laughter, scheming, and dreaming.
Then towards the end of the meeting, I look at the team with seriousness in my eyes and ask them in a calm yet dogmatic tone the following question.
“What are the two Sundays you both plan on taking off this semester?”
Our youth meets on Sunday night, and if our directors aren’t forced to take time off they won’t. They work their tails off, and it’s awesome. The only problem is they need to learn balance sometimes.
They both reluctantly mention one date, but neglect to settle on a second date.
With great gusto and conviction I started an almost rehearsed speech.
“You have to take care of yourselves. Taking breaks is a God given rhythm. If you don’t pause from doing ministry every now and again, you will burn out.”
Like a classroom of children being reprimanded by their teacher, they nod in almost perfect unison and respond with a collective monotone “Yes, sir.”
Feeling accomplished after reminding them once again that this issue will be revisited at a later date, we all went our separate ways.
Later that same week, while sitting at my desk a wave of fatigue hit me with great intensity. This wasn’t the sleepy kind of tired. It was the “your car ran out of gas” type exhaustion.
My tank was empty.
After a few minutes, I text Megan, my wife, about this sudden overwhelming exhaustion. In all of her wisdom she says, “It’s because you haven’t taken a Sunday off in over four months.”
A thousand “Face Palm” memes came shooting into my brain.
“I told them to take a break, and then like an idiot I didn’t follow my own advice.”
Needless to say there is a break in my future, but there is a larger principle at work here than just taking Sundays off.
It’s the way Christians, bosses, and parents are sooooooooooo good at giving advice, but horrible at following it. In light of the “do as I say, not as I do” movement, here is a proverb to keep you and me grounded.
“Any fool can give advice to others.
But the wise will live according to His words.”
Or as Jesus would say, “Go and do likewise”.
Anybody can give advice. It’s cheap and easy. But the truly wise live out what they ask others to do.
Here’s the revolutionary new method to mastering advice:
Start living the words of wisdom you so easily dispense to others.
Let’s work together at becoming people who don’t just tell others what to do, but we first live it out.
Have you ever been guilty of telling but not doing?
Share it below so we can learn together.