The phrases ‘Talk is cheap’ and ‘Actions speak louder than words’ are meant to denote the essence of conjoining action with words. Basically, one can say something without actually doing something which in effect means that one’s words are meaningless. It is very easy to say that you will and yet your actions suggest that you won’t. For example, you might have the ambition to seek a particular career path which can be evident in your words but your actions might suggest that you are not as serious about the career path as you first mentioned.
The truth is that our words are meaningless if they do not show forth the actions that align with what we say. There are a couple of scriptures that we can examine which will point to the principle of not only hearing what God’s Word says but also putting it into practice. The first scripture is James Chapter 1 and verse 22 which says:
(NLT) “But don’t just listen to God’s word. You must do what it says. Otherwise, you are only fooling yourselves.”
It is important to understand the context of this verse and this chapter. James who is the writer of this passage wrote a letter to Jewish believers who were scattered throughout different countries. In chapter 1, James is writing to give both encouragement and instructions in verses 2-16. However, in verses 19-21 James gives instructions to fellow believers in the faith when he says the following:
(NLT) “Understand this, my dear brothers and sisters: You must all be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to get angry. Human anger does not produce the righteousness God desires. So get rid of all the filth and evil in your lives, and humbly accept the word God has planted in your hearts, for it has the power to save your souls.”
The key verse that transitions into verse 22 is verse 21 when James urges Christians to expel the sinfulness within our lives and to accept God’s Word in our heart. This is a call to accept or to grasp the principles of God. However, the qualifier which is verse 22 states that those of us who are Christians should not only hear what God’s Word says but we must do what it says.
Basically, each person who claims to be a Christian or claims to follow Christ must not only make the statement of their faith but they must actively pursue God’s righteousness and obedience unto Him. There are many examples of those who are ‘church goers’ or those who are ‘religious’ but their lives are not a true testament to what they profess. James says that if we hear God’s Word but do not do what it says then we are deceiving ourselves.
The deception that is very common today involves both the unbeliever and those who are not seriously following Christ in both word and deed. To be a Christian is to be the difference maker or to be separated from sinful living and those who are unrepentant in their sin. It is the abstinence from living in a godless disposition or even pacifying behaviors that are against God’s decrees.
The truth is, there are many who say that they believe but yet do not do as God’s Word says. John 14:15 says,
(NASB) “If you love Me, you will keep My commandments.”
Much of what we see today is a contradiction of what scripture truly says compared to the lifestyle of those who claim Christianity. Those who claim to be in Christ and yet live in sinfulness are deceived into thinking that they are in the right position with God. However, as John says in chapter 14, our love for God is shown when we keep His commandments. God has not changed His standard of righteousness, but it is humanity that has adopted humanist ideas and operated in pacifism as it relates to sin.
Obedience unto God is not negotiable which is contrary to the way that many are living today. Especially in the Christian faith, it is paramount that the teaching of obedience and the rejection of sin is emphasized more than not. Our submission unto a Holy God is a major part of the test of our love for God. It isn’t enough to go to church Sunday after Sunday or attend Bible Study weekly only to operate in sinfulness after God’s Word has been spoken to you.
One of the tests that every believer must pass to show their love for God is through their obedience which is a result of their actions. However, if we know what God has given us to do both through His Word and the words spoken to us through the Holy Spirit and we don’t follow instructions then there is a price to pay. James 4:17 says the following:
(NLT) “Remember, it is sin to know what you ought to do and then not do it.”
This verse of scripture is short, but it is powerful because it brings accountability to you and I. James says that if you know what you should do and do not do it, then it is sin. Of course this short scripture is meant to be for believers, however, the key is that God’s Word invokes accountability and a standard that we who are in Christ ought to follow. It is considered sin if you know what God requires and yet you don’t do it.
The reverse to this is also that if you don’t know what God requires then you as a believer have a responsibility to understand God’s Word and know what His commands are for yourself. If we are going to show the world what the love of God looks like we must first love God with our whole heart, mind, and soul. God demands that we not only hear His truth but that we actively personify what His truth says through how we live.
The world sees many in Christianity as hypocritical because many are guilty of professing a lifestyle that is Holy and aligned with Jesus Christ. Yet the same individuals that profess to have a relationship with Christ are the individuals that portray the same image as those in the world. In the life of every believer, there must be a clear distinction between what the world does and what we who are in Christ do. Much of the problem is that many who claim Christianity have lost their fear of God.
God has not changed His standards for Holiness or righteousness. The reverence that God requires is what we must adhere to because God is Holy in every part of His being. Therefore, we should be Holy as God is Holy which means to live in obedience as God gives us instruction through His Holy Word. Are you simply hearing God’s Word and not putting it into practice in your own life? The best testimony you can have is to symbolize the love of God through not only His love and grace unto others but a life that is submitted unto the commands that God gives.
For those of you who are not in Christ, if you don’t know the God of Holiness and righteousness then you have an opportunity to accept Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior. Believe in your heart that Jesus is Lord and that He died on the cross and be redeemed from yoru sin. By doing so you are then able to be free from the chains of sin and you will know who this Holy and righteous God is.