Today’s scripture reading:
What good is it, dear brothers and sisters, if you say you have faith but don’t show it by your actions? Can that kind of faith save anyone? Suppose you see a brother or sister who has no food or clothing, and you say, “Good-bye and have a good day; stay warm and eat well”—but then you don’t give that person any food or clothing. What good does that do? So you see, faith by itself isn’t enough. Unless it produces good deeds, it is dead and useless. Now someone may argue, “Some people have faith; others have good deeds.” But I say, “How can you show me your faith if you don’t have good deeds? I will show you my faith by my good deeds.”
The Lord calls us to share His truth with others, but oftentimes our actions and attitude completely contradict the words that are coming out of our mouths. This is an area in which we all seem to struggle.
Every day, every one of us communicates something to someone. We send messages by what we say and by what we don’t say, by what we do and by what we don’t do.
For example, if a father quietly decides to stop tithing, he is sending a loud message to his children. Without ever opening his mouth, he is declaring, “Kids, you can’t trust the Lord with your money. God isn’t faithful to meet your needs, so you better hold on to as much as you possibly can.” Is that the message you want to pass on to your sons and daughters?
You might argue, “Well, I’m not really a tither, but I would never tell my kids that you can’t trust God.” However, you have already sent an unspoken yet very clear message. What people—especially children—witness in our behavior speaks much louder than what we actually say with our mouths.
The apostle Paul understood what powerful lessons we teach by our actions. For this reason, he made sure he modeled the right behavior and values for his spiritual children to emulate (“For you know that you ought to imitate us. We were not idle when we were with you. We never accepted food from anyone without paying for it. We worked hard day and night so we would not be a burden to any of you. We certainly had the right to ask you to feed us, but we wanted to give you an example to follow.” 2 Thess. 3:7-9).
It is not an issue of whether or not we will communicate a message. Rather, the issue is, What kind of message are you already communicating? Search yourself for any disparity between what you say and what you do, and choose to share a complete, unified message of hope with the world.