Believe it or not, we all convey a message without ever speaking a word. Point-in-fact, our character and our actions are typically the basis in which others base their opinions about us. Oh, they might well hear our spoken beliefs and perspectives regarding various matters no doubt, but most often, they’re looking at the words not spoken to receive our message. This is precisely where the phrase, “Do you walk the talk?” points to in our culture.
One of my favorite quotes on this subject comes from Ralph Waldo Emerson:
“Who you are speaks so loudly, I can’t hear a word you’re saying.”
I could build a whole sermon from that statement for sure… However, as this is a devotional in hopes of inspiring each of us to give reflection over the coming days, I’ll endeavor to be succinct in my writing.
If each of us were to be questioned in a formal interview process by a group of Christian leaders to head up a new ministry called – “Authentic Christian Living” – a ministry devoted to equipping and inspiring believers to “live out Jesus in authenticity,” think about how you would fare? If after the interview, they contacted people from your work, a few of your neighbors, some of your immediate family and the references which you listed on your application… what would others say about you?
Let me draw us back to that quote, “Who you are speaks so loudly, I can’t hear a word you’re saying.”
“Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity… And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.” Colossians 3:12-14, 17 (NIV)
“Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins.” 1 Peter 4:8 (NIV)
If these two scripture passages were the criteria, our litmus test for which we were to be evaluated upon as a potential candidate for heading up and overseeing the new ministry… how would you do?
I don’t know about you… but I must confess, I fall short on a number of days each year. I can’t live a day without the Holy Spirit convicting me in each of the aforementioned areas. Oh that I might continually work out my salvation with trembling and fear… Amen!