Actions: in one ear out the other

James 1:23-24

The saying goes, “Action speaks louder than words.” Indeed, before that saying, we have the words of James:

Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like a man who looks at his face in a mirror and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like.

What more needs to be said about this age old parable. One of the biggest criticisms of the Christian faith is that they simply don’t “walk the talk”, “practice what they preach” but simply a bunch of hypocrites. I am ashamed to agree – we Christians are a bunch of hypocrites. We gather together in their Cross-adorned churches, preaching messages of love and grace, singing songs of how great God is…yet the moment we walk out the doors – we forget the cross Jesus called us to carry, we forget the love and grace God saw fit to offer us, we begin to think about the stresses and worries of life and that God is not big enough for all our problems! Hypocrites!

It is one of my biggest frustrations to reflect over the past week and realise that the message that was given last Sunday directly addresses the issues I’m dealing with and I didn’t take a single notice! Excuse me, but, that’s just simply, utterly, unforgivably idiotic! James’ illustration is completely fitting, “a man who looks at his face in a mirror and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like.”

Brothers and sisters, let us change our ways, let us put off the old self, let us give no room for further criticism. Our biggest testimony and witness of the Lord Jesus Christ, first and foremost, begins with the integrity of our actions. People will, for a long time, watch us carefully before even consider hearing our words. If you truly seek to live the righteous life, let us begin by acting with integrity according to the teachings passed onto us throughout the ages.

“Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.” (NIV; Romans 12:2a)

Paul’s words echo true for each and every day. Let us set our eyes on the Lord Jesus Christ, being transformed by the renewing of our minds that we might be a testimony with integrity to the people of this world. For too long, the words of God have just gone in one ear and out the other. No more! I urge you, let your lights shine in the darkness of this world; I urge you, let your life be salt throughout the earth. Let our actions speak for us, let them speak loud!