Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is

St. Francis of Assisi is believed to have once said, “Preach the gospel at all times – when necessary use words.” It was a great way (and still is) to point out that our daily actions are important and need to convey God’s message of love. Often what you are doing or the way you are doing it speaks louder than all the words you have used to convince someone to receive Jesus as their Lord and Savior.

It’s an old but true statement (I first heard it from Dr. John Maxwell) that “people don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.” In other words, our message of love has much more impact when it’s preceded by our acts of love. So, as you prepare to share the gospel with the people in your world, pray also for the opportunity to SHOW them the gospel, remembering that truth plus kindness is a winsome combination.

Listen to the same thought from James the apostle“Suppose a brother or sister is without clothes and daily food. If one of you says to him, “Go, I wish you well; keep warm and well fed,” but does nothing about his physical needs, what good is it? In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.” (James 2:15-17).

The lesson is clear: What we DO really does matter.

As you live your life today, be mindful that even the smallest of acts can have the biggest of consequences. The other day I was walking my dog and a young man walking his dog was just ahead of me – embarrassed that he did not have a bag with him and his dog was – well you know – and the rules of the park are to “scoop the poop.” However, I had two bags with me and so was able to offer him one – a random act of kindness that led to a brief but good conversation.

But, let’s not forget the flip side of the coin. The Bible also asks, “How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them?” (Romans 10:14)

In reality, God’s Word completes the truth of what St. Francis said by reminding us that words are necessary. We must do more than silently serve people, hoping they will somehow notice the spiritual dimension in our lives. For them to really understand and embrace the message, Paul the apostle warns that we will need to explan it to them verbally as well.

What we do matters – what we say matters as well. Actions and words together are two of our most valuable tools when we go into our mission field every day.

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