Do you ever stop and actually listen to yourself? I can't tell you the number of times in my 15 years of working with students that I have been caught "unaware". Half way through a sentence that was designed to pierce the depths of a teenager's soul I'm suddenly left speechless. I'm suddenly smacked in the face with the realization that what I just spoke wasn't for anyone else, it was for me. I find myself completely caught off guard as to who that sentence or idea or principle was designed for and more importantly who it was designed by. I'm beginning to realize that sometimes God uses me...to reach me.
Like most normal people I don't always wake up feeling 100%. Sometimes I'm crabby, sometimes I'm discouraged, sometimes I'm impatient and sometimes, like today, I'm all three of those things. As I was scrolling through these pages this afternoon I happened on a post from a few months ago that God used to remind me that my crabbiness, my discouragement and my impatience are all working against we He wants to do in and through me.
I speak with my mouth that I want God to use me to reach people for His glory but no one ever came to know Christ in a greater way through the admiration of anyone's crabbiness and impatience. I speak with my mouth that I want to encourage people and build others up but I allow my own discouragement to bleed through my empty words of encouragement to those in need.
Romans 8 says, "...those who live according to the flesh have their minds set on what the flesh desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires. The mind governed by the flesh is death, but the mind governed by the Spirit is life and peace."
God makes plain how we are to live. As a person who has consciously made the choice to pattern my life after the person and the teachings of Jesus, it simple. Live according to the Spirit. The Spirit isn't crabbiness. The Spirit isn't discouragement. The Spirit isn't impatience. The Spirit is life and peace.
So maybe like me, God is using you to reach you. Think about the advice and the counsel that you have given others in their time of need. Think about the counsel and direction you have given your kids or your friends or your co-workers and then...do it for yourself. In other words, "Practice what you preach".