Clergy View: Actions speak louder
What are our lives saying to others?
The other day at the hospital, I watched as a visitor swore at an employee because they did not want to wear the mask.
This is not an uncommon occurrence; many times, employees have been brought to tears because of the unkind acts of others. These employees are merely doing their jobs, striving to keep people safe. I realize that everyone is tired, but that does not give us liberty to be unkind.
It makes me stop to examine my own life. What facial expression do I have? What does my tone sound like to others? What is my body language saying about my feelings toward someone?
It is in those stressful, tired times that I must pray Psalm 139:23: “Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts.”
My dad used to tell me, ‘I can’t hear a word you’re saying because your life is screaming at me.’ What are our lives saying to others?
Scripture tells us to “be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.” (Ephesians 4:32). Such a good reminder in the times that we are living in. Far too often we are impatient, short-tempered and slightly agitated. Our outward actions speak so much louder than our words.
As Christians we are called to be set apart. “Therefore, if anyone cleanses himself from what is dishonorable, he will be a vessel for honorable use, set apart as holy, useful to the master of the house, ready for every good work.” (II Timothy 2:21) You can preach a great sermon on Sunday but if your life is saying something else on Monday, it is in vain. We might not agree with one another, their opinions, or their choices, but we are called to love. “Love one another as I have loved you.” (John 13:34) St. Francis of Assisi said, “Preach the gospel at all times, use words when necessary.” Each of us is testifying, whether you are a pastor or a layperson.
What sermon are you preaching today by the actions you are living?
“For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of.” (Matthew 12:34).