What do we think we are doing?
It’s simple really. When it comes down to it, what we do (and don’t do) is the only real signifier of what we believe (and don’t believe).
Obviously we can lie to ourselves if we want, and most of us do at least some of the time, but the truth of the matter is that I will act on whatever I really believe. The converse is also true, if I’m not living out what I say I believe, then I’m not really believing it. Let’s take a minute to explore this truth with a little hypothetical situation.
If I say that I care for the safety of my children, then I will actually do things to ensure their safety. I will secure the house and make it child-proof. I will buy safety equipment for them to travel in during car rides such as car seats and then buckle them in making sure they are secure. If I truly want them to be safe, I will take the time to explain the dangers of their choices and reason with them why they should do or not do certain things as they grow up.
Basically, if I really believe there are potential safety issues for my children, then I will do everything I can within my power to ensure their safety and teach them how to be safe when I am not around. If I don’t do anything to protect them and teach them, then I must not really care about their safety as much as I say I do, right?
I’m sure all of you can understand and relate to this example. I have no doubt that you understand these truths and even agree with the premise that we act upon what we truly believe.
So why is it that we say we believe certain truths about God, yet we don’t act on what we say believe? I’m not even talking about the small stuff. I’m talking about the essentials of our faith like worship, discipleship, evangelism, prayer, fellowship, etc.
If we say we believe our entire lives should be about worshiping God, then why aren’t they? If we say we believe Matthew 28:18-20 and that we should be making disciples, then why aren’t we? If we say we believe God wants us to share our faith, then why aren’t we telling others about Him? If we say we believe in the power of prayer, then why aren’t we committing more of our time and energy to praying? Why aren’t we confessing our sins to one another and praying for one another…about more than just health issues? If we say we believe the church is to be a faith family who truly fellowships, then why do we only gather on Sundays or once a quarter over lunch? If we say we believe in forgiveness, then why do we choose to hold on to the past and not forgive our brothers and sisters in Christ?
We like to say we are followers of Jesus and we like to say we love God, but we don’t usually live out what we say we believe. And, if we don’t act on what we say we believe, then maybe we don’t really believe it after all.
Look, I’m not saying we have to do “this and that” to make sure we are really Christians. I’m saying that if we truly are followers of Christ, then we’ll look like it. Our actions and words don’t earn us God’s favor. Jesus’ work on the cross already did that for us. But if we truly believe what we say we believe, then we’ll start living it out.
What would it look like if we actually starting living out what we say we believe? How would that change our families? How would that change our workplaces? How would that change our faith family? How would that change our community? Think of all the possibilities and think of all the joy we would have in knowing we are doing everything we can to make much of God and to enjoy Him completely.
You brother and fellow sojourner in Christ,