by Jeff Lynn

This content is part of a series.

Practice What You Preach! (4 of 6)
Series: Get Busy Dying
Jeff Lynn
Matthew 23:1-36

TEXT: Matthew 23:1-12

I want to read you an excerpt from a book that I've been reading entitled, "How People Change" by Paul Tripp.

It's a great illustration to lead into this message.
It involves a story about a couple that Paul had counseled.
The names have been changed to protect the guilty.

At first I was impressed. Phil was not only familiar with Scripture and systematic theology, he also owned an extensive library of biblical commentaries by the "who's who" of theological writers. There were few places I could go in Scripture and few theological references I could make that were new to Phil. Yet there was something dramatically wrong. If you were to turn from Phil's library and watch the video of his life, you would see a very different man.

Phil always seemed to be pointing out something wrong around him, yet he was successful at very little himself. He had the theological dexterity of a gymnast, but he lived like a relational paraplegic. His marriage to Ellie had been tumultuous from day one. He seemed completely unable to diagnose or correct the unending stream of problems that had sucked the oxygen out of this relationship. His relationships with his grown children were distant at best, and he always seemed to be embroiled in some drama with his extended family. He was never satisfied in his career, and he had been involved in four churches in three decades. The time he spent dealing with his own problems left little time for ministry to others.

The problem was that few seemed to know the "video" Phil. He and Ellie never fought publicly, never separated, and never considered divorce. They were faithful in church attendance and giving. In Sunday school classes and Bible studies, Phil came across as knowledgeable and committed. Yet at home he was easily irritate and often explosive. Most of his free time was spent on the computer ...

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