I recently completed Dave McClellan’s book on preaching. He emphasizes the importance of authenticity (i.e. believability). “Preachers who take on a different persona (tone of voice and mannerism) when they get up to preach lose credibility. The audience catches the duplicity and doesn’t trust the ‘imposter.’” The preacher’s character is of greater importance than the structure or illustrations of a sermon. The preacher has to ask, “Does it pass ‘the baloney detector?’”
This is a sobering question for the preacher to ask himself. But it seems to me that this is a question that we would all do well to ask ourselves. Who you are is more important that what you do. This is true in the classroom, the workplace and the family.
Nowhere is this seen more clearly than in the realm of parenting. You are always looking for new tools to help regulate all of the Wi-Fi devices in our home. You want resources to help our kids excel academically. You wrestle through the schooling decision. Should you home school? Public school? Charter school? Christian school? What words can you use to make your discipline meaningful and memorable?
These are all important things to think through. But does your life pass the baloney detector? Are you authentic? Your character is more important than any tool or technique. You want your kids to respect authority. Do you respect authority? You want your kids to embrace moderation when it comes to eating. Do you embrace moderation when it comes to eating? You want your kids to have a good work ethic. Do you have a good work ethic? You want kids to love Christ and his church. Do you love Christ and his church?
We all want our words to be heard. But does our life give our words credibility?
Photo credit: https://commons.m.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Lie_detector_test.jpg