Actions Speak Louder than Words
By Steph Nickel
Steph takes a look at the famous phrase “Actions speak louder than words.” Steph encourages us to be more authentic with our faith by acting on what we say we believe.
John 10:24-33 reads like this:
“The Jews gathered around him and said to him, ‘How long will you keep us in suspense? If you are the Christ, tell us plainly.’ Jesus answered them, ‘I told you, and you do not believe. The works that I do in my Father’s name bear witness about me, but you do not believe because you are not among my sheep. My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all, and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand. I and the Father are one.’ The Jews picked up stones again to stone him. Jesus answered them, ‘I have shown you many good works from the Father; for which of them are you going to stone me?’ The Jews answered him, ‘It is not for a good work that we are going to stone you but for blasphemy, because you, being a man, make yourself God’” (ESV).
Verses 37 and 38 read this way:
“If I am not doing the works of my Father, then do not believe me; but if I do them, even though you do not believe me, believe the works, that you may know and understand that the Father is in me and I am in the Father” (ESV).
There are those who don’t believe that Jesus ever claimed to be God. It is clear from these verses—and others—that spiritual leaders who heard him speak knew exactly what He was saying. That is why they were going to kill Him. They believed He was blaspheming.
Jesus Points To His Actions
But Jesus pointed to the good works He was doing. Truth isn’t merely an intellectual exercise. It has to do with actions as well. Jesus revealed much about not only His power but also His nature by the things He did.
As the old adage goes, “Actions speak louder than words.” How about our actions? What do they say about us?
Back in my Bible college days—some three decades ago—our English teacher told us of an interesting assignment. Participants were to write down a list of priorities—easy enough. But then came the challenging aspect of the assignment. They were to record how they spent every minute of every day for the next week. And the results?
Priorities turned on their heads. It seems those things students said were top priorities actually ranked close to the bottom of the list according to time spent on these endeavours.
I know, if I were to be courageous enough to do this assignment, my results would be very similar. I would say my relationship with the Lord is my #1 priority, followed by my relationships with family, church family, and others.
Sure, I could make excuses . . . I’m reaching out to family and friends on Facebook and networking with those who have shared interests. (All true, but am I really honouring God and blessing others the vast majority of the time? And just why do I hang out on social media? To be honest, my motivation is more selfish than I would like to admit.)
And what about my family? Do I do what I do for them or for myself? Too often, it’s the latter.
I could go on, but you get the idea.
Remember These Truths
Now, before you feel too discouraged, remember these truths: 1) If you’re concerned that your priorities aren’t what they should be, that’s a good indication that God is working on you. 2) If you’re willing to take an honest look at what you say and do—and why—that’s another good indicator.
Jesus challenged His opponents to judge Him by His actions. May we dig into the Word of God and take the time to learn not only what Jesus did but also what His actions reveal about Him.
May we be patient with ourselves and thank God that it is because He loves us that He gives us insights into our actions and motives. After all, it says in Hebrews 12:6 that He disciplines those He loves.
May our love for Him grow and may our words and actions reveal Him to others.
For further study, I encourage you to read John 10:24-39.
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Images courtesy of:
Wheelchair – austingmackell0
Jesus – James Tissot
Hammering Iron – fsHH
Sweeping Street – Mojpe
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