What if….someone (a stranger to you) was assigned to follow you around? The rules given to the person included that they could not talk to you…only observe. They could not follow you on Sunday. At the end of the month…they were told to write an essay about your life. The essay needed to reflect what was important to you….and list your priorities.
What do you think they would write?
As I recently have thought about this…every day after my morning quiet time…I have clearly seen that my actions are not lining up with my desires………
I have said and written in my journal….that I desire for people to be encouraged to live for Christ. To explore for their own lives…Ephesians 2:10. Discovering the “good works” in Christ Jesus that they were created in advance to do. I have asked myself….would a stranger….write these good works about me…if they only observed me for a month????
Needless to say…now…I am examining my actions….by saying to myself daily….”Share the gospel every day. If necessary, use words.”
Yes, if our actions don’t line up with our words….the gospel to people is “dead.”
It renders no attractiveness.
I love it stated another way: “Your actions are so loud, I can’t hear what you are saying!”
Scripture teaches that we need to evaluate not just what we say, but our actions as well. “If anyone thinks they are something when they are not, they deceive themselves. Each one should test their own actions. Then they can take pride in themselves alone, without comparing themselves to someone else” (Galatians 6:3-4).
And Abraham provides us with a good example of actions speaking loudly. “Was not our father Abraham considered righteous for what he did when he offered his son Isaac on the altar? You see that his faith and his actions were working together, and his faith was made complete by what he did (James 2:21-22).
Several years ago I wrote a blog on a lesson about “Taking Cards” on people’s actions. My dear friend, Jack Easterby, chaplain for the New England Patriots, taught my kids when they were in high school, and also taught me, this principle. When picking friends or making a judgement on relationships…just take cards on their actions. When you have 5 to 6 cards on their actions, you have a better idea of who that person really is.
It doesn’t matter what they say…as much as what they do. Of course there is always context to situations…when looking at someone’s actions. We may not know their “back story”…i.e., what is going on in their lives that we might not know about. That is where we sometimes have to give people the “benefit of the doubt” and ask God to reveal the truth to us and give us discernment. Often times…we may be called to go to this person/friend in love and ask questions when we don’t understand their actions.
But back to the real point of the post……..
How would the world change…how many people would be open to knowing Christ and desiring a relationship with Him…if our actions…were SOOOOO LOUD? Full of love, encouragement, kindness, forgiveness, and servanthood that we would be deemed “irresistible”. If you study Jesus’s life, He either was irresistible or detestable to people. We have to understand our call is the aroma of Christ and, with that, our “smell of Christ” will evoke both responses. If you study God’s word, you know the destination of both responses.
I encourage you….to seek to write a life mission statement and read it daily. A mission statement that will prompt you to leave a legacy of irresistibility to Christ. That is the only thing you can take with you when you die.
Realize our words…are not nearly attractive as our actions:)
“Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth” (I John 3:18).