What Our Lives Are Really Saying
One of the dangers we often face as Christians is a religious mindset that deceives us into thinking we are what we are not. We spend so much of our time talking about what it means to be Godly that we convince ourselves we are, simply because we talk about it a lot. Sadly, I believe it’s far easier to change what we say than what we do. The danger of Christian talk without Christian living is no small thing. To talk about love, patience, and forgiveness is one thing, to still have lunch with the brother who wronged you, is another. I love it when Christian brothers and sisters talk about their faith, but if we are not careful our churches can end up being little more than this; a place for refined Christians to come and talk about lofty Christianity while living a life barely distinguishable from the world. Brothers and sisters this should not be.
There have been many things written about living up to what we say, and that's good, but I want us to see the other side of that coin as well. On one side is the question: "What are we saying, that we aren't living up to?" On the other side: "Does how we are living portray what we would never say?" Do you see the difference? It's about recognizing life choices and habits that are screaming what we would never say out loud.
Are you one of these Christians? The truth is we all are, to some extent or another, but if the actions from your daily life consistently contradict your usual Sunday banter then repentance is in store. Ask yourself, “Are the actions of my life saying things I would never say with my words?” As a Christian you would never say ,“I just don’t trust God.” But what do your actions say? Are you consumed with worry? As a Christian you would never say, “I think the Bible is irrelevant to my life.” But do your actions show that it is? You’ll never hear a respectable Christian father say, “Football, God, family; those are my priorities.” But what makes your heart more happy, Sunday morning or Monday night?
I know we all need improvement regarding how we live versus what we say…I get that. All we have to do is read the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5) to make that point crystal clear. And God’s grace abounds where we fall short in this. But we shouldn’t be ok with and complacent about the disparity between what we say and what we do.
Here’s why: first it brings reproach on the name of Christ as the world around us hears our big and lofty speech but pays it no head, and actually scoffs at it, due to the actions of our lives. The hypocrisy among Christians is a laughing matter among non-believers and we are partly to blame for this. Secondly, it deceives the individual into a false security of salvation. Although we are not saved by what we do, we will do once we are saved.
22But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. 23For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks intently at his natural face in a mirror. 24For he looks at himself and goes away and at once forgets what he was like. 25But the one who looks into the perfect law, the law of liberty, and perseveres, being no hearer who forgets but a doer who acts, he will be blessed in his doing. 26If anyone thinks he is religious and does not bridle his tongue but deceives his heart, this person’s religion is worthless. 27Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world.