"More Than Words"

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By: Samantha Roberts

1 John 3:18, “Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth.” (NIV)

My three year-old son likes to torture our cat. When he thinks no one is looking he’ll do something like grab her tail or “pet” her with his foot. Don’t get me wrong – he most certainly loves her. He just has a strange way of showing it.

Not too long ago I caught him pestering her again. Before I could tell him to stop, she waged her own protest by growling and swatting a harmless, declawed paw in his direction. He could tell she was upset and his tiny heart was crushed. How could the kitty not like him?

I spent the next few moments trying to look into his pouty little face and explain to him that if he wants the kitty to like him, he needs to be nice to her. When I finished, he took a brief second to think about it and then suddenly his whole demeanor changed. With the biggest grin he could muster he raised his eyebrows and declared, “Mom! I nice!” In his mind, that fixed everything. Until the next time he wanted to “love” on the kitty, anyway.

What my sweet son failed to understand was that it wasn’t enough for him to simply say that he was nice. If he really wanted to make that true he was going to have to show it by actually being nice.

It seems like a rather simple concept, doesn’t it? If you want to be someone or do something, you have to back that up with some evidence other than just words. I mean, I can tell a thousand people today that I’m a marathon runner, but it certainly won’t make me one, right? No one who knows the slightest thing about me would believe that for a minute because it’s obvious that I can’t run at all (much less complete a marathon). Just saying something about you doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s true, but being able to back it up does.

Have you ever heard that expression “Actions speak louder than words”? That’s what I’m talking about. What you actually do with your life holds a lot more merit in the eyes of other people than the words that you speak about yourself. So think for a minute about how you would describe yourself on Facebook, MySpace, or a job application to people who don’t know you. Would you say that you are a good student? A great friend? How about a Christian?

Now think about this: Would the people who don’t need to read your personal profile in order to know you (your closest friends) already know these things about you because they see them in action in your life?

As Christians we owe it to Christ to live beyond the words we use to describe ourselves. It’s not enough to simply say that we follow Him – there needs to be some hard evidence in our lives that we are actually doing it.

Are you just labeling yourself as a Christian today, or are you showing yourself to be one? Let your actions for Christ speak even louder than your words about Him, and there will be no question that you are not only who you say you are, but Whose you say you are.

My Prayer for Today:

Lord Jesus, please help me to live out loud for You today. I don’t want to think that it’s enough to tell people that I love You; I want to show them that I love You by following Your Word and by being a light in this world. Help me to see and take advantage of the opportunities You give me each day to love others in action and in truth. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Resources:

Get Real, by Rebecca Ingram Powell

Being a Girl Who Leads: Becoming a Leader by Following Christ, by Shannon Kubiak Primicerio

Lies Young Women Believe and the Truth That Sets Them Free, by Nancy Leigh DeMoss and Dannah Gresh

Think About It:

How do you think someone who has only known you for a little while would describe you? What about someone who has known you for a long time?

What are 5 words you would use to describe who you are because of Christ? (Some examples might be “joyful”, “peace-filled”, “forgiven”, etc)

Where do you struggle most to live out what you say about your life?

Live It:

Take the 5 words you thought about above and write each of them on a separate index card. On the back of each card, write some ways you can actively live out that characteristic in your life. If you can, use a concordance or a topical index in a Bible to find Scripture that talks about what each of those words mean to us as believers, and write those verses on your cards too. Keep your index cards in a place where you will see them each morning, and begin your day by asking God to help you love Him and others in action and in truth in each of those areas.

Power Verses:

James 2:15-17, “Suppose a brother or sister is without clothes and daily food. If one of you says to him, ‘Go I wish you well, keep arm and well fed,’ but does nothing about his physical needs, what good is it? In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.” (NIV)

1 Corinthians 4:20, “For the kingdom of God is not a matter of talk but of power.” (NIV)

© 2008 by Samantha Roberts. All rights reserved.

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