James 1:22-27 ESV
But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks intently at his natural face in a mirror. For he looks at himself and goes away and at once forgets what he was like. But the one who looks into the perfect law, the law of liberty, and perseveres, being no hearer who forgets but a doer who acts, he will be blessed in his doing. If anyone thinks he is religious and does not bridle his tongue but deceives his heart, this person's religion is worthless. ...
Before school, my son came up to me and began his morning soliloquy on the importance of living a debt-free life. I chuckled as I could see his father's influence overflow from his lips.
So often, we impart our values on our children without even knowing it. Some of these are what we want our children to learn from us, such as the importance of a debt-free life. However, sometimes, we send messages to our children that do not correspond to our true values. For instance, yesterday, a car almost ran into me and I called them, “stupid.” My daughter asked me, “Mommy, who is stupid?” I immediately retracted my statement and told her that the person was not stupid, but they simply made a mistake which almost caused us to be in an accident. However, had she not said anything, I would not have corrected my rhetoric. I was convicted that I had not acted in a way that tries teach my children to value all people.
What messages could someone's current actions be sending to a child? Each week, when a parent decides to skip church, they subtly are saying to their child, fellowship with the Body is not THAT important. When someone uses foul language, they are in essence saying that Colossians 3:8 doesn't matter. When one speaks words against someone, you are telling them that it is really okay to slander your brother.
What values do you want to instill into your children? If you don't have children, what values do you want others to see in you? How consistently do your actions match your values? For instance, if I truly valued living a healthy lifestyle, it would be logical that I would eat leafy greens, not eat my weight in Kit-Kats, and I would exercise in moderation. In the same way, if we hold true to our values, our actions will be consistent with what we believe. However, f they are not, we serve a God of grace, who wants nothing more than for you to turn from the wrong path, get back on track, and move forward.