Do as I Say Not as I Do

by Arnold Nelson


This is a story about the way I was raised. It also talks about some heros that keep me going staight.

I grew up in a family of eight kids. I have four older sisters, two younger brothers, and a younger sister. "Do what I say not what I do" was one of my father's favorite sayings. That was the way we were brought up. It didn't work for us, but he didn't care, he was big daddy and he was always right. He never understood that kids learn more by imitating then any other way. One of my sisters refers to him as the Fuehrer I just think of him big daddy. I don't know about the others but I always felt more like possession than a son. He always led me to believe that the man could take care of anything. I learned real fast that I could not do that. I tried to impress him for a while, but I finally gave up. The last time was the end of my seventh grade year. I was in a math class called SMSG, I don't remember what it stood for, we just called it some math some garbage. At the end of the second semester when grades came out I got 105% out of 120% because of some extra credit I did. I was very happy about that. So I went home all excited to show dad that I had 105% for the semester. I explained about the extra credit. He said "I hope what you missed was extra credit" and then he walked away. I was really hurt by that. That was the last time I ever tried to impress them. I don't think he ever said that he loved us or that he was proud of us. My mom on the other hand. Her whole life was built up around her kids and we all knew she loved us very much and she was very proud of all of us. We would all do anything we could for her.

I had two heroes I watched every Saturday morning on TV. They were Roy Rogers and Dale Evans, the king and queen of the Cowboys. You could not ask for better role models. They weren't always Christians. They both accepted Christ in their late 30s. Dale's son Tom took Dale down to the altar one Sunday. She accepted Christ. A few weeks later Dale took Roy down to the altar. He accepted Christ. The rest of their career, every chance they could, they were talking about the Lord and what you should do and what you shouldn't do. They not only talked about being a Christian, they practiced it. every day everything they did was done in a Christian way. They understood something my father never did that people learn more by imitating than any other way. They were always the best role models they could be because they knew millions of children were watching them.

There was another man. He first touched me when I was seven years old, I was very sick with pneumonia and laying in bed on Sunday morning. My dad had taken the other kids to church. My mom stayed home with me. I was laying there about half-asleep and I felt a hand on my chest. I thought my dad to come home and was checking on me. I opened my eyes but there was no one there. It wasn't until years later that I realized what was, it was a hand of God. Shortly after that event I started getting better. I have been a Christian ever since then. When Jesus was on earth he would talk and give sermons and tell people how they should act and what they should do. He not only talked, he showed us how we should act. He was the only perfect man to ever walk on this Earth. What did they do to him? They hung him on the cross, not for anything he did, but for us, for you and for me. He could have gotten off that cross any time he wanted. It was not the nails that held him up there it was his love for us. He took all of our sins on the cross with them. That must have been a heavy load, but he did it. When he died he took our sins down into hell and laid them at the feet of the devil. Then he told the devil these are my people you stay away from them. Then he rose up from the dead and open up heaven so that we would have a place to go. There's only one way to get to heaven. We can not be good enough to get there by ourselves. The only way we can get there is through Jesus Christ. We have to believe in Jesus Christ.

All through my life every time I had a tough decision to make I would think do I want others doing it? If the answer was no then I didn't do it. I always believed in do as I do. I always figured anything I did was good enough for somebody else. If it's not then I should not be doing it.

There is another way to look at things when you have a decision to make. A few years ago the letters WWJD were all over the place. The letters stand for "What Would Jesus Do." If you can figure out what Jesus would do in any situation, and if you do that, you will not go wrong.

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