Are You a Resounding Gong?

This week has been one of disillusionment and awakening. It has been both heartbreaking and eye-opening. The most destructive kinds of people are those that act contrary to the values they proclaim. Of course this is no surprise; Satan has mastered the art of manipulating the truth and deceiving men. It is only when one comes face to face with such blatant opposition to Christ and self-arrogance that one is reminded of Ephesians 6:12, “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.”  
The worst testimonies to Christianity are those that proclaim Christ with their words, but deny Christ with their actions. I have encountered more than one of these “Christians” this week and it leaves a retched taste in my mouth. What kind of message are we proclaiming to the world if our mouths speak love and truth, yet our actions speak hate and disdain? How can we hope to show unbelievers the purity of the message of Christ if our lives do not reflect the message we present? This may seem obvious to many, but I feel it must be said, “ACTIONS SPEAK LOUDER THAN WORDS!!!” No one cares what you say; your words mean nothing, unless your life and your actions reflect those words. That is why James said “faith without deeds is dead” (James 2:26). People don’t care what you have to say, they want to see that you believe what you speak. They want to see that the message you proclaim has penetrated your life. There are millions of hypocrites in this world; people are raised to be leery of anything anyone has to say, that is why our actions and deeds are so important.

We witness to every person we encounter every day, whether we realize it or not, by our actions. If you claim to be a Christian, but are not consciously making an effort to live like Christ every single second of every single day then you are actually hindering the salvation of others. Do you want to be the reason someone rejects Christianity? Do you want to be the reason that someone is lost for eternity? Do you want to be the reason someone goes to hell? I don’t. So take captive your thoughts and your action, live for Christ in everything that you say and do. When you make a mistake, confess it; when you hurt someone, make it right. We all sin; it is how we handle that sin that makes us different than the rest of the world. Do you confess your sin to God? Do you take responsibility for and repent of your words or actions before both God and the person you wronged? Do you take steps to make the situation right again? If you don’t live for Christ and don’t live to show people Christ, in everything that you say and do, you might as well be a resounding gong (1 Corinthians 13), because your love is selfish rather than selfless like Christ (John 3:16). What will God say when you stand before Him in the throne room on judgment day? Will it be “well done my good and faithful servant?”

2 Comments:

  1. Following God’s will isn’t about saying the right thing. Following God’s will is about doing the right thing — walking the walk, not just talking the talk. Our lives speak volumes.
    In the Gospel of Matthew, Jesus talks about the final judgment when the king will say, “For I was hungry and you gave me food; I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink; I was a stranger and you welcomed me….”
    A change of heart to do what’s right is more important than keeping up appearances or saying the right thing. There’s this thing called sin. Since the beginning of creation, it’s been a powerful force in our lives. Sin is when we seek our own will instead of God’s will. Sin inevitably leads to broken relationships and harm to ourselves and/or others. It separates us from God.
    We can’t be Christ, but we’re called to be Christ-like. Following Jesus is about allowing our hearts and minds to be changed with the help of God in the Holy Spirit.

  2. The Book of James is arguably not a theological masterpiece on par with the Apostle Paul’s epistles, especially Romans and Ephesians. But it makes a critically important point that all Christians need to understand: Actions speak louder than words. More to the point–a said faith or mere intellectual belief in God does not save. The kind of faith that saves is one that radically transforms our lives to become more Christ-like, turning us away from sin, and that produces the fruit of good deeds. We demonstrate our faith by our actions, not by mere words. That is where the rubber meets the road, and it is a powerful message underscored by James.