What do smoking doctors and the church have in common?

I was listening to a podcast the other day of a woman who was being interviewed who was formally an atheist. Something that she said really stuck with me. She had just had a baby and was leaving the hospital with her baby in her arms, and as she walked out of the hospital, she ran right into a cloud of smoke. Eew, right? She looked over to see who were the perpetrators, and guess who were the ones puffing away? That would be a few of the doctors from the hospital. The same doctors who would have needed to study medicine for several years to get those initials behind their name and would definitely know the dangers of smoking and who probably would tell others about the dangers of smoking. They were the ones smoking. Seriously? Yes, seriously.

But besides the obvious hypocrisy of these doctors, she walked away with a really important truth to chew on. Just because the person telling you a truth or important piece of advice that they don’t necessarily abide by, doesn’t make said advice wrong. It just makes the person who told you wrong. It doesn’t take away from the veracity of the advice or the facts or the information given.

That really gave me some pause. As she continued to talk about how she came to know Christ and how she started going to church only to find the church full of… well, people, who ended up being very broken and difficult to love and believe, God would remind her to think about those smoking doctors. Just because the church is Christ’s bride doesn’t mean it’s perfect on this side of heaven. How I wish it was. How I wish I was. But alas, we’re not. However, that doesn’t take away one bit from the Truth of Scripture. Our imperfectness in carrying out the Truths of Scripture does not negate the perfectness of Scripture.

Of course, this doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t be striving towards righteousness as Paul urges us to do (Phil 3:12-14). We definitely should! Although I know no one is perfect, I think of it this way. For example, I’m not going to take running advice from a fast-food eating, out-of-shape Joe Shmoe just because he tells me he knows how to help me get my time down. That wouldn’t be very wise. But if I were to run into someone who looked fit and seemed to know what he/she was talking about, I’d be much more apt to listen to them. Of course, the more you know them the better assessment you can make of their running knowledge, but the point is although no one is perfect and we’re never going to get it all right, we should all be striving towards holiness and pointing to the One Who IS perfect, and who helps us every step of the way. We should minimally be striving towards righteousness while setting an example for others, and not continuing to choose to sit in sin (for example, following the same train of thought as the above analogy, we shouldn’t be eating fast-food and choosing to be out of shape).

Those of us who are in the church are never going to be perfect and we shouldn’t beat ourselves up because we’re not. However, we have God’s Spirit living inside of us and when we so choose, we can live lives that glorify God despite the circumstances of life. That’s truly amazing. So if I can use yet another running analogy, I may not be able to run a marathon in record time today, but what I CAN do is get up and out the door consistently and get a mile run in. Next week, I’m going to strive for two. I may not make the two, but you better believe I’m going to try. That’s called working out my salvation (Phil 2:12-13). And while I run my little run, I’m going to tell others about this marathon I’m training for. I may have a funny gait and my face may be purple by the end of my run, but I’m doing a lot better than when I started. Back then, I was crawling. Today, by the grace of God, I’m starting to run.

So who’s ready to lace ’em up, get out the door in whatever spiritual shape we’re in, and walk boldy, together in Truth? And don’t forget to get some socks on while you’re at it. Preferably some Mud Hen Mama statement socks. (:= On sale now for 20% off!! WOOT WOOT!

©2024 Mud Hen Mama


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