Unshakeable Devotional - Caught More Than Taught

Caught More Than Taught

By: Pastor Ryan Tremmel, Experience Pastor
My eldest daughter loves to help out around the house. It is one of the ways she can feel like she is older than her seven year old self. One of the many ways she does this is by helping close the blinds throughout the house in the evening. There was one problem with this, she started doing it wrong. Yes I know there is open and then there is closed, but how to accomplish that task can differ. The rule of thumb is to use the dial rod and twist til the blinds are closed, except in our home, the blinds on the biggest window are broken and you can only open and close the blinds by hand.

After watching her mother open and close that broken blind, my eldest daughter Abby, began to open and close all the blinds like this thinking it is the right way of accomplishing this task which caused the blinds to be flipped in different directions and the process of opening them in the mornings became quite the chore. It was in the moment, that we realized that she was catching more from our actions than she was from our teaching and I want to share this point with you today, learning is more caught than taught.”

In fact, I have heard this saying applied to many different areas of life, to sport, to hobby, to leadership and to ministry. People learn more effectively when they see those they respect live out the principles that they are teaching.

We find in 2 Kings chapter two, a fascinating story where Elijah’s time on earth was coming to an end and his apprentice Elisha was with him. The men came to a stream of water that must have been too big to walk through and too inconvenient to find a way around. Elijah took off his cloak and smacked the water causing it to split and create a dry path for them to walk over.

Shortly after this miracle, Elijah was swept up into heaven on a fiery chariot and as he was leaving he dropped his cloak to Elisha. Elisha grabbed the cloak and walked back to that stream of water and did what he saw Elijah do. He struck the water as Elijah did before him and the water split into two and Elisha walked across on dry ground.

It is a beautiful image of the more the “more is caught than taught.” Yes teaching is a vital role in the growth of people. However people will grasp how you apply and live out those teaches in your own life. The first miracle Elisha performed was the same as the last one he saw Elijah perform. Think about that for a moment. Elisha did what he last learned from his mentor, just in the same way Abby performed her task by following how she last saw her mother and I accomplished ours. Examples are powerful teachers.

Exodus 18:20 says “Teach them His decrees and instructions and show them the way there are to live and how they are to behave." Did you catch that? Teaching needs to be accompanied by seeing it lived out.

Secondly this story reminds us that, we need people around us that can show up how to live our lives at a higher level. Elisha was able to perform twice as many recorded miracles as Elijah because Elijah showed him that miracles were possible. Elisha was a simple farmer. A man who plowed the fields for a living. A commoner by all accounts, but one day Elijah saw him and called him to something greater. It is said we are the sum of the 5 closest people to us. This means that you should have someone pulling you up and you should have someone you are pulling up. If you are on the top of the totem pole and are being pulled down, you need to reevaluate who your friends are.

So what are the people around you currently learning from your life, from your example? How you are handling stress at home? Difficulty in the work place? Pain in your marriage? Handling success? No matter the answer, know that it is never too late to change the impact you are having with your life by living out your life in a way worthy to be reproduced cause more is caught than taught!!

Let's Pray.
Dear Heavenly Father, thank you for sending your Son, Jesus, to be the ultimate example of life that we are to reproduce. Help us to teach and live out our life in every way possible through our words and our actions so other may come to know you. Reveal to us the areas we need to improve and help us to embrace your grace so we can live in confidence for you. In Jesus Name AMEN.

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2 Comments


Megan - May 9th, 2020 at 10:06am

Amen! Thank you for sharing that. So very true!

Diana - May 9th, 2020 at 11:51am

This is so true even with Grandparents!Great analogy Pastor Ryan ! My Dad use to say do what I say not what I do.Gods Blessings to you and your precious family