Growing up, I used to hear an old saying in my house a lot. “Your actions are speaking so loud that I can’ t hear what you’re saying.” Well, the grammar was poor (should be loudly), but the sentiment of the sentence is spot on and even Biblical in a way. We can’t just go around saying the Good News; we have to live it in front of others.
Do you remember a game I played as a child called “Follow the Leader”? Whatever the leader did, we were supposed to do and you were out of the game if you failed to follow. The Christian life with Jesus is not a game, but we are all definitely called to follow our leader and do whatever He would do and nothing that He would not do. The movement a couple of decades ago called WWJD (What would Jesus do) is based on a Scripture verse that encourages believers to imitate Christ.
Just as our children imitate us as they are growing up and learning the ways of the world, we are told to be like children and to imitate Christ. What did Jesus do? He loved…always loved. He rebuked sin and stood firmly for righteousness, but He personified love even in His stern rebukes of the rampant sins of the day. He empathized with those who were hurting and who needed a touch from Him to be made whole. He loved! Can we do any less? When we see someone in need, are we content to say, “I’ll pray for you” or do we get into the trenches with that person and try to meet their needs, just as Jesus did? I’m talking to myself as much as to you. Oftentimes, more often than not, I am not as bothered by the plight of people as I should be, so I just give them an over my shoulder as I walk away blessing and prayer and continue on my way. How many lives could we touch for Jesus if we took the time to really look at others and their needs and to meet the ones that we are able to? To me, that is walking in love. You walk, you see someone in need, you help fulfill the need and then you walk on and find the next person in need. I think that it is in meeting the needs of those we encounter on a daily basis that we show them the heart of Jesus. Once we have met the physical needs, these people will be much more willing to hear our words about the sacrifice that Jesus made for them.
Our actions then need to match our words. If we say we love Jesus, then we need to imitate Him, follow His example and be lovers of His people, the lost sheep who are perishing without the hope that only He can give. Telling people that I’m a Christian has not brought a single person to the foot of the cross, but showing people what actually following Jesus means is evangelism in action.