Admiring or Practicing?
A story comes down to us from the ancient Olympic games in Greece. After all the seats in the stadium had been filled, a feeble old man came in. As he ambled past where the Athenians sat, they laughed at him. But when he approached the section where the Spartans were sitting, the men rose as one to offer him their seat. Upon seeing this act of respect, the Athenians were so moved that they broke into applause.
“Ah,” said the old man, “the Athenians admire courtesy, but the Spartans practice it.”
The noble principles of Scripture were not given merely to be admired, but to be practiced. As important as it is to study them, mediate on them, discuss them, sing about them, teach them, and yes, admire them, all of that falls short unless we also strive to live them.
“Therefore whoever hears these sayings of Mine, and does them, I will liken him to a wise man who built his house on the rock: and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it did not fall, for it was founded on the rock. But everyone who hears these sayings of Mine, and does not do them, will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand: and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it fell. And great was its fall” (Matthew 7:24-27).