John T. Willis

Sunday, November 01, 2009

I'd rather see a sermon than hear one any day

Paul says to the Christians in Corinth in 1 Corinthians 11:1: Be IMITATORS of me, as I am of CHRIST.

Edgar A Guest wrote this poem, which is self-explanatory and well-known:

I'd rather see a sermon
than hear one any day;
I'd rather one should walk with me
than merely tell the way.
The eye's a better pupil
and more willing than the ear,
Fine counsel is confusing,
but example's always clear;
And the best of all the preachers
are the men who live their creeds,
For to see good put in action
is what everybody needs.
I soon can learn to do it
if you'll let me see it done;
I can watch your hands in action,
but your tongue too fast may run.
And the lecture you deliver
may be very wise and true,
But I'd rather get my lesson
by observing what you do;
For I might midunderstand you
and the high advice you give,
But there's no misunderstanding
how you act and how you live.
When I see a deed of kindness,
I am eager to be kind.
When a weaker brother stumbles
and a strong man stays behind
Just to see if he can help him,
then the wish grows strong in me
To become as big and thoughtful
as I know that friend to be.
And all travelers can witness
that the best of guides today
Is not the one who tells them,
but the one who shows the way.
One good man teaches many,
men believe what they behold;
One deed of kind noticed
is worth forty that are told.
Who stands with men of honor
learns to hold his honor dear,
For right living speaks a language
which to every one is clear.
Though an able speaker charms me
with his eloquence, I say,
I'd rather see a sermon
than to hear one, any day.

I hope this poem will inspire YOU to live a godly example before others. I like preachers and teachers and good speakers. But I am much more impressed by people who give good examples daily to life for God through Jesus Christ.

How do YOU respond to this poem? Share YOUR thoughts with others. Let me hear from YOU.

John Willis


  • This is my all time favourite poem. Away with the platitudes! They need LOVE!
    I copied and pasted the poem from your blog for a friend who said this to me: "Do you get irked when told that pain is good, needed for growth,etcetc..
    Do you think such 'pravachans' or sermons come from those who have actually suffered pain ? Tell me please !"

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 7:41 PM  

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