Practice What You Preach
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Lead kids through a couple rounds of Simon Says. In Simon Says, the leader tells kids things to do but they have to listen closely. If you say, “Simon says,” then kids do the motion. If you don’t say, “Simon Says,” kids don’t do the motion.
After a few rounds of Simon Says, say: You guys did a great job playing Simon Says. Let’s play it the opposite way. You still need to listen to me say, “Simon Says” before you do a motion. But, in this Opposite Simon Says, you will do the opposite of what I say. If I say, “Simon says, ‘don’t touch your head,’ you will do the opposite and touch your head.” Let’s try this.
Simon says, “don’t clap your hands.” (Kids should clap their hands because they’re doing the opposite thing.)
Say these things for kids to do the opposite:
“Simon says, ‘Stand up.’ ” (Kids will sit.)
“Stand up.” (Kids should not move.)
“Simon says, ‘Sit down.’ ” (Kids will stand up.)
“Simon says, ‘Don’t pat your head.’ ” (Kids will pat their head.)
“Simon says, ‘Don’t stop patting your head.’ ” (Kids will stop.)
“Pat your stomach.” (Kids should not move.)
“Simon says, ‘Don’t practice what you preach.” (Kids will be confused.)
Have kids sit down.
Practice what you preach. What does that mean? (Pause.) I think it means that if you tell someone to do something, you need to do it, too. Practice what you preach means don’t do the opposite thing that you say. Instead do what you say others should do.
In our Bible lesson today, Jesus had something to say about "practicing what you preach." Jesus was talking about the teachers of the law and the Pharisees in the synagogue where people went to worship. Jesus said that everything that they did was done so that others would see them and think how great they were. But they didn’t do what they told other people to do. In fact, they did the opposite!
What did Jesus tell us to do about teachers like these? (Pause.)
You might think Jesus would say, "Don't listen to them! You don't have to do what they say." But He didn't. Jesus said, "Obey these teachers and do everything they say. But do not do what they do, because they do not practice what they preach." When it comes to living the Christian life, we need to make sure we do what we say.
Here’s a little poem that would be good to remember.
You can know a lot of Scripture
And have the gift to teach,
But what is more important --
Is to practice what you preach!
Dear God, help us be people who do what we say so that others can see the love of Jesus in us. In Jesus’ name, amen.