In one of my jobs, I had a manager who talked big. In meetings he would tell us what he was going to do and what he expected from us.after a few months, I realized that he rarely did anything he said he was going to do. After a particularly exciting meeting, I went to a coworker I had become friends with. I asked, “Foes he ever make good on his promises or does he just talk? He laughed and said, “He just talks.” I don’t think he was a bad guy. He truly wanted to do the things he promised and hoped it would motivate us, but in reality, it simply eroded our trust in him.
In Matthew 21:28-31, Jesus told the story of a father who had two sons. He asked the first one to go work in the vineyard. The boy told his father no, but then later changed his mind and went. After the first refused, he went to the second son and asked him to go work in the vineyard. He agreed to do it, but then never went. Jesus then looks at the crowd and asks, “Which of these two obeyed his father?” (NLT) We may not have liked how the first son responded to his father, but in reality, he’s the one who obeyed. Christianity isn’t about saying the right things. It’s living out your faith.
James 1:22 says, “But don’t just listen to God’s word. You must do what it says. Otherwise, you are only fooling yourselves.” The danger we all face is becoming like the second son. We know what God wants to hear, and we know what other Christians want to hear. We can get good at speaking Christianese, but without the actions behind the words, we erode trust in ourselves and in God. We are the only Jesus some people see. Actions will always speak louder than words. Beliefs are not based on what we say, but what we do. We will always act in accordance with what we truly believe. If our lives aren’t living out what we profess to believe, we are only fooling ourselves as James said.