It is tempting to bend the rules.
It is tempting to try and hold someone else to a standard of behavior that we have not achieved.
It is tempting to try and MAKE the rules in such a way that they serve us and our interests.
So… this is not good. If we have high expectations of others, but do not live up to them ourselves… there will be constant hypocrisy and strife. If we bend the rules to suit our interests we become like… well… a rotten politician (oh wait… they think they are ABOVE the rules) without morals or integrity… only selfishness.
Anyway, the Bible constantly reinforces integrity, integrity, integrity. Religious leaders, in the Bible, are often the target of criticism because they bent the rules for their own gain. With this in mind, it is no surprise, that teachers were always warned and encouraged regarding their profession: to teach ‘the rules’ to the next generation. Paul says to his student Timothy (2 Timothy 1:13):
Hold to the standard of sound teaching that you have heard from me, in the faith and love that are in Jesus.
If just being a teacher carries the weight of super high integrity and responsibility… how much more so for the faith teacher. When we look around at all the crazy cults and fringe religious movements, these days, we can see the dangers of not passing on sound teaching… of bending the faith rules.
In my quest to be better and better I realize that I have been called, as a pastor, to be a faith teacher… and I take that seriously. I want to live up to all of my high expectations, and I want to pass integrity on to the next generation. In one way or another, in our lives and families, we are all in this position as teacher.
I have some work to do to get where I want/need to be… do you?