Do What I Say Not What I Do. Wise Words or Not?

“Do what I say, not what I do.”

Wise words? Maybe. Or, maybe not.

Either way, these words were often spoken to my brothers and me as we were growing up. While my dad would do one thing, he would tell us not to do it ourselves. You see, he was quite a daring soul who would try all kinds of crazy stunts and many of them weren’t safe. From sucking gasoline through a hosepipe to start siphoning gas out of one of our cars to use for his lawn mower to climbing on top of the roof of the house to retrieve a baseball, the man had no fear.

Well, he did fear one thing . . . that we would attempt to do what he did.

Therefore, we heard it often, “Do what I say, not what I do.”

Flipping through the New Testament, I started thinking about the red print in my Bible that meant those words were spoken by Jesus. We can read His words dispersed throughout the gospels and even in a few other books like Acts and Revelation.

But what about the things Jesus did? He not only spoke, but He chose men to be His disciples, fed thousands for lunch on a hillside and calmed the seas while riding in a boat. He walked on land–and on water–healed people and restored sight. He threw moneychangers out of the temple, cooked meals on the seashore, and taught His followers how to pray. He walked streets, rode donkeys, slept on rooftops, and wept in gardens.

John writes, “Now there are also many other things that Jesus did. Were every one of them to be written, I suppose that the world itself could not contain the books that would be written,” (John 21:25).

Jesus did many things. No, He wasn’t just a talker–He was a doer.

What would His wise words be to us?

“Do what I say AND what I do.”

Beth Fortune

Beth has a passion for God's Word. Through her writing and speaking she allows the heartbeat of the Father to flow through her words. As an award-winning writer she’s a contributing writer with Christian Devotions and has had stories published in two "Chicken Soup For the Soul Book" Series in addition to other anthologies. Some of her articles have been published in Focus on Family’s "Thriving Family" magazine and Dr. Charles Stanley’s "In Touch" magazine. With a degree in Ornamental Horticulture she loves gardening and enjoys giving gardening talks to churches, schools, and community groups but her real enjoyment comes from sharing God's truths and encouraging others. She and her husband live in Mauldin, SC where they are in a season of caregiving for her father-in-law in the home. A diffiult season, but one in which God continues to show His grace. You can visit her at

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