Does your who match your do?
It is really disturbing that when I tell some people I didn’t sleep with let alone live with my wife before we got married that I am met with a mixture of shock and unbelief. I guess I am fighting against the reputation that some of my other brothers and sisters have given them but that makes me even a little angrier. I just finish a discussion like this with some co-workers, these people know I am a Christian but one just seems to assume it is purely nominative.
Then I said something to the effect of “Some people practice the religion of Christianity and some people live Christianity, I live it.” This got me thinking about a church class I took some time ago with some dear friends, Buzz and Karen.
In that class Karen asked a question that didn’t seem very profound at the time but has significantly changed the way I view my life. She simply asked “Does your who match your do?” We talked a while about making your actions match your words and your faith but it wasn’t good enough for me. Some time later in my ministry I realized that your actions will always match your beliefs they simply may not match the beliefs you espouse.
One will always act based on the beliefs they truly hold, although their actions may reveal beliefs they didn’t know they held, or even reveal that they never held them in the first place. What do I mean?
Christians when asked directly “Do you believe the Bible to be the word of God?” will always answer with a resounding “YES” but most do not bother to open it between Sunday and Sunday, let alone allow it to change the way they act. It was CS Lewis who said “You never know how much you really believe anything until its truth or falsehood becomes a matter of life and death. It is easy to say you believe a rope to be strong as long as you are merely using it to cord a box. But suppose you had to hang by that rope over a precipice. Wouldn’t you then first discover how much you really trusted it?” If we simply declare our beliefs with out any change in our action, are we not hypocrites?
I believe this is what James meant when he said “Faith without works is dead,” the modern era has made our orthodoxy the crux of our faith; as long as you believe in the right things you are saved, but I believe it goes much further than that.
In Matthew Jesus judged the sheep and the goats, not on their beliefs but on their actions. I believe I understand what Jesus was describing; your beliefs will be displayed by your actions because a person can not help but act upon their beliefs, the only question is what do my actions say about me?