Tuesday, March 08, 2011

Am I Walking the Talk?

"I could tell right away," he said, "it was the kind of place where people would cuss, then ask forgiveness, but then turn around and swear again."

This was my fifteen-year-old son's assessment of a Christian event he attended with a friend. What was he saying exactly? Was it a place where people were not concerned about their sin or flippant about their faith? Did he sense a spirit of complacency or hypocrisy? And how could he tell? How did he come to this realization so quickly?

People, even young people, can sense a fraud. When our walk doesn't line up with our talk, others take note.

"It is no use walking anywhere to preach unless our walking is our preaching."

Francis of Assisi

There is no place in Christianity for "do what I say, not what I do." If what we say doesn't match up with what we do, our words are nullified. Who trusts a doctor who tells us to watch our cholesterol, yet eats pizza every day for lunch? Would you rely on an accountant who throws away every receipt? Would your kids respect a teacher who harped on homework yet never graded it? We won't be taken seriously unless our behavior mirrors our words. Proverbs tells us, "Even a child is known by his actions, by whether his conduct is pure and right." Even a child.

It's not enough to say all the right things. We must DO all the right things. My son's observation spoke volumes to me. He didn't take a group of Christians seriously because their actions suggested they weren't sincere. Our walk has to match our talk. When it doesn't, we leave the door open for doubt and mistrust.

Lord God, help me walk my talk. May my actions speak louder than my words. Gently show me my inconsistencies and give me the courage to change. Teach me how to preach by walking.

I'd love to hear what you think about this. Leave a comment or if you have a lot to say, chime in with your thoughts by linking up here:


Twinkle Mom @ Sunflower Faith said...

Very wise child you have!! So true...sometimes its not in the measure of what we are saying that holds weight as much as what we are doing as we say it...if we are speaking but acting in an unloving way..that way hurts what we are saying more than the words can hope to help!

Miriam Pauline said...

And a child will lead them...

Actually laughed aloud at the harping teacher who does not mark papers. I had one of those, and know the disrespect we thought toward her.

Great post my friend. Thanks for hosting this week...and for making me think.

Debbie said...

Tami, I'm so glad that you chose this quote. Walking our talk is so important, especially if we desire to glorify God. How can we ever share the Gospel with those who don't yet believe if we say and preach something and yet live another?

I'm always amazed at the wisdom of children. Your son was very perseptive.

Blessings and love,

Carol said...

So true-- our actions can speak louder than our words. This is a good reminder. Thank-you for hosting.

God's peace and love,

Karen said...

Wow, that was really good. What was good about it is the fact it is so true. Sad but true. In our Christian walk there shouldn't be anything fraudulent about it.

Linda said...

I will not forget my friend from California who told me years after I moved away. "You know I was always watching you."

Great and timely topic and great thoughts.