Known By Our Actions

When a referee is watching a challenge for the ball in soccer (football), she is not reading the mind of the players to judge intent. She watches actions. She can see where the players look and what they do. If a player glances back to see where the opponent’s head is and then jumps bringing back an elbow that “just happens to” hit the other player in the eye, we all know what that action was. A deliberate striking action. Not an accidental act.

We are in the Advent season. We may not be going to stores quite so often as usual, but we still hear messages and songs of peace and joy. We may receive greeting cards proclaiming peace and joy. We may see people on the streets and in the stores who may greet people with peace and joy greetings.

However, people not in your club, the Christian church club of choice, are not really listening to you. They are watching you like a hawk eyeing a field mouse. Intently. Do your actions belie your words?

Or perhaps some words slip out that betray inner conflicts. Perhaps words of condemnation, derision, racism, sexism, even hatred slip from between your lips undermining that earlier proclamation of peace and joy. Perhaps you pushed someone aside in the rush to grab that toy in the store. Perhaps you sounded your horn aggressively at someone in the parking lot while trying to butt in to a better parking place or to exit faster.

People watch. People know. They know you not by saying you’re a Christian, but by whether you act like one.

On the other hand, we do know that you can change your manner of thinking by how you act. You have choices. You can choose how to act.

In the words of that old Christian folk song, “They will know we are Christians by our love, by our love; they will know we are Christians by our love.”

We have the entire Advent season to change how we act so that our actions may be congruent with our words.

2 Responses to “Known By Our Actions”

  1. Jonathan Caswell Says:

    we gotta walk our talk! 😀

  2. Jonathan Caswell Says:

    Reblogged this on By the Mighty Mumford and commented:
    we are, as you know, the only gospel some people see!

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