A Note to My Virtuous Friends

“To do good is noble, but to teach others to do good is nobler…and much less trouble.” ~Mark Twain

8a8d21f5d0288aee5008a8630f086eda_400x400Many of us who are writers and teachers hope, I suspect, to establish our own nobility by telling others how to behave.* Yet most of us are at least part-time purveyors of the sins we condemn, and spotty practitioners of the virtues we extol.

A. A. Milne, creator of Winnie the Pooh and real life daddy of Christopher Robin, was reportedly a cold and distant father. Beloved Victorian moralist Charles Dickens summarily dumped his wife of twenty years for a 17 year old actress.

Are we trying to get into heaven by riding the coattails of those we shove?

The Apostle Paul admonishes us to “be a model” to those we teach, “both in word and in deed, in love, faith, and purity.” “Live there,” he says, “be that person…so that your progress is apparent to all…for by so doing you will not only save yourself, but your hearers, as well!” (I Timothy 4:12-16)

*Yes, I, as a writer and teacher, am using this post to do precisely that. Please excuse me while I remove the plank from my eye.

About mitchteemley

Writer, Filmmaker, Humorist, Thinker-about-stuffer
This entry was posted in For Pastors and Teachers, Humor, Quips and Quotes, Writing and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

19 Responses to A Note to My Virtuous Friends

  1. atimetoshare.me says:

    Ah yes, we all need to be reminded to do just that😄

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Good post. This reminds of someone referring to a societal problem and then saying, “I was so affected that I wrote a song about it.” Not that this can’t be beneficial, but it is more of a long distance involvement even when done properly.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Lydia Reyes says:

    Excellent! What an incredible writer you are. I love your way with words.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Artists’ are known to have the highest rate of mental illness, and just pure craziness. I’m of the opinion that most of us write not because we came into life as a writer, but because life made us writers…
    A little glass half empty, I know, but that’s my two cents to add to your lovely thoughtful post! : p


    Liked by 1 person

  5. Great post. Great thoughts to be pondered. When my daughter was in 6th grade of a GATE class, she said to this mom who has a doctorate degree when tried to tell her something. She said,”Mom, you don’t know anything. I am in the GATE program.” Whoooo, I backed off. I have never “preached” to her ever since. The great comment I got from her after she got married, was that, “Mom, you’re a great example to me.” That’s enough to bring tears into my eyes.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I often say, “Do as I say, not as I do,” is not a bad rule, because we almost all talk a better game than we play. Regarding the writers mentioned, what I’m thinking now is that if I write the most degenerate, sinful, naughty fiction I can think of, perhaps I will in real life be a noble, virtuous sort. Of course I will strive to remember NOT to preach to others but to set an example always. Good post.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Tekoa says:

    Love this and so true!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. dawnlizjones says:

    A plank for a plank–thank God for friends who help me see it!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. knabbler says:

    Of course, the beauty of this is recognizing the plank. That is, as they say, half the battle. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Paula says:

    I see your plank and raise you 16 gazillion motes. You said a mouthful once again, Mitch. Thanks

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Dehan Taylor says:

    Reblogged this on MOTIVATION with DEHAN and commented:
    Are we trying to get into heaven by riding the coattails of those we shove?


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