I have just read a paper delivered by a Ukrainian Christian leader (in Faith,Life and Witness, 1990), who told this story of Dr Bedecker, a preacher in the nineteenth century who traveled to Petrograd by horse and coach. At the end of a service one man came up to him, having committed his life to God, and said: "You saw perhaps that during the sermon I went out? I came to the coachman and asked: 'You brought this preacher?' 'Yes,' he replied. I asked a second question: 'Does he live as he preaches?' And I was surprised to hear what he said. 'No. Dr. Bedecker cannot preach so well as he lives. He lives better than he preaches.' "
Wow! What a testimony! To live better than we preach? I know it's so much more difficult. Too often performance expectations focus on "excellence in preaching." But, excellence in living is the higher goal. Do you agree?