A country preacher was interviewing to become pastor of a church. The search committee chairperson was an English teacher and wanted to be sure their future pastor could speak properly. So he asked the candidate, “When a hen is on the nest, does she sit or set?” The minister was baffled, not knowing what to say. Finally, he spoke, “Well, it doesn’t matter if she’s sitting or setting. What I’d want to know is this: When she cackles, is she laying or lying?” I think that is what God wants to know about us too. When we profess to know him, is our profession just talk or is it real? The Apostle Paul had that concern when he wrote in Romans 2, “You boast about your special relationship with [God]. You know what he wants; you know what is right because you have been taught his law. You are convinced that you are a guide for the blind and a light for people who are lost in darkness. You think you can instruct the ignorant and teach children the ways of God. For you are certain that God’s law gives you complete knowledge and truth. Well then, if you teach others, why don’t you teach yourself? You tell others not to steal, but do you steal? You say it is wrong to commit adultery, but do you commit adultery?” Today, nothing hinders the spread of God’s truth as people who profess to know Him but whose lives contradict what they profess.

Dr. Melvin E. Banks, Sr. is the founder and chairman of UMI (Urban Ministries, Inc.). Under his direction, UMI has grown to be a leading publisher of Christian education resources for churches in the African American community. Read More

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