Words & Actions
Words & Actions Galatians 5:16-26 Galatians 6:7-10
A man was stopped at a traffic light, waiting for the light to turn green.
When the light finally changed, he was distracted in thought and didn’t budge. But the woman in the car behind him obviously had places to go and people to see... so she honked her horn.
When he didn’t move... she honked again, and again... and within seconds she was pounding on the steering wheel and blowing her horn non-stop.
Finally, just as the light turned yellow, the man woke up and drove through the light... leaving the women to sit through another red light... and she was livid!
Still in mid-rant, she heard a tap on her car window.
She looked up to see the face of a police officer.
The officer asked to see her license... and then asked the lady to step out of her car! She responded, “But why... what did I do!”
The officer said, “When I pulled up behind you and you were blowing your horn and cursing like crazy at the person in front of you... I noticed the bumper stickers on the car... ‘Follow me to Sunday School’ on one side, and ‘What would Jesus do?’ on the other... so I naturally assumed the car was stolen!”
It’s easy to claim to be followers of Christ... but actions speak louder than words. It’s not very hard at all to be a Christian within the four walls of the church... but it’s been said (and I believe) that our religion is what we say and do when the sermon is over.
God’s Word tells us we’re known by the life we live (James 3:12-13) and by whether or not we choose to love one another (John 13:35). The words we speak... our words as followers of Christ... should be seasoned... beneficial... thoughtful and filled with life! Ephesians 4:29 tells us, “Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but ONLY what is helpful for building others up, according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.”
Much like we talked about last Sunday, if we live a life that’s filled with anger - if we’re easily angered - if we’re short tempered - if we rush to judgement and we’re quick to find fault... it certainly damages our ability to be an effective witness for Christ.
Many can often fool others into thinking they’re Christians... They can say all the right things. They can quote all the right bible verses, and know all the right doctrines... But even the devil himself knows the Bible!
We’re called to do more than just talk... we’re called to do... to act... to love... It’s more important to live a righteous life, producing the Fruit of the Spirit, than it is to give “lip service” to serving Christ. James asked, “Who is wise and understanding among you? Let them SHOW it by their good life, by DEEDS done in the humility that comes from wisdom.” (James 3:13)
In other words, talk is cheap. We’re called to LIVE our lives in such a way that our ACTIONS prove our claims! Our actions and words should work in unison to affirm that we’re followers of Christ! We’re called to “let [our] light (the light of Christ) shine before others, so that they may SEE [our] good works and give glory to [our] Father who is in heaven.” (Matthew 5:16)
It all boils down to consistency. Consistency. Do we practice what we preach? Do we live our faith... do we actually LIVE-OUT what we profess to believe? Only those who produce fruit that’s consistent with their claim to be a follower of Christ will inherit the Kingdom: NOT MY WORDS... they’re God’s Word. Are we walking the walk... or merely talking the talk?
Of course, none of us live up to the high calling of Christ all the time. We all stumble and fall. We all lose ourselves at times... and we say things, and do things, that we later regret. But that “regret” is a good thing! It’s a holy thing! It’s like a “tap” on the shoulder! It’s telling us something! It’s a reminder to repent, as we seek God’s better way for us in Christ...
Our scripture today reminds us: we “reap what we sow.” If we give ourselves... our lives... our energy and talents and love... to the world, and we embrace the ways of the world... we’ll reap the benefits of such a life.
And if we give ourselves... our lives... to Christ, and we embrace the ways of Christ... like “love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control,” we’ll reap the benefits... and the rewards.
And one more thing: as our lesson urges us...
“Let us not become weary in doing good...” “Let us not become weary in doing...” “Let us not become weary...”
Let’s be a people who “do” the Gospel. Let’s resolve together, to strive with all our heart, mind, soul, strength... and voices... to live a life that’s pleasing to God. A life that truly reflects who and Whose we are.