Talk Is Cheap – Actions Speak!

megaphoneI know people who can talk a good game. They know something about everything. They are very important people – if you don’t believe me, ask them. I have been around people who are “know it all’s” and I’ve been around people who are brilliant and scholarly. The later don’t usually talk as much. I’m learning to listen more and talk less because I can learn a lot during my time of silence. I do believe that talk without action to back it up is simply hot air and wasted words. Jesus dealt with this with the religious leaders and Pharisees. They talked a good game with their faith, but when you “peeled back” the layers of their lives, they were rotten inside. I want my faith to be real from the depths of my heart to the smallest detail of my life. I want my trust in the Lord to be obvious and noticeable without ever having to say a word.

15 “Beware of false prophets who come disguised as harmless sheep but are really vicious wolves. 16 You can identify them by their fruit, that is, by the way they act. Can you pick grapes from thorn bushes, or figs from thistles? 17 A good tree produces good fruit, and a bad tree produces bad fruit. 18 A good tree can’t produce bad fruit, and a bad tree can’t produce good fruit. 19 So every tree that does not produce good fruit is chopped down and thrown into the fire. 20 Yes, just as you can identify a tree by its fruit, so you can identify people by their actions. (Matthew 7:15-20 NLT) (These are the teachings of Jesus Himself.)

“Actions are louder than words could ever be.”

“What I do speaks so loudly, you can’t hear what I’m saying.”

I came away from this passage realizing the need for humility. I am nothing without the Lord in my life. Just because I know Him and spend time with Him does not make me better than anyone else. I still have sin in my life that must be dealt with. I am simply another human being, created by God who is trying to life a good life because that is who God called me to be. I’ve given my life to Him because I believe He first gave me life. He gave me a future, so I’m trusting Him with mine.

I want my life to drip with humility and gratitude for the blessings that flow from the Lord to me. I am a nobody, who is somebody, because the Lord loved me first. I’m not sure that a day goes by that I don’t get to talk about my faith. I want people to see my faith before I ever speak a word about it. I want my actions to speak loudly about the One I trust in and live for.

Pressing On!

Dwayne

Did I Just Say That?

LipsI have caught myself asking that question because of something stupid I said. It may have been an ill-timed or insensitive comment. I must confess that I’ve been known to let my mouth get started before my brain and my “editing machine” get engaged. My words can be blunt and bold or they can be gracious and kind. I believe there is a nice way to deliver all sorts of news. If this news is devastating the delivery must be factual but gentle as possible. I’m not one who likes for people to “dance around the truth”. I would rather receive the truth is a tough way than to be lied too.  I am learning every day that my response to others says more about me than the “bombshell” that was just dropped on me in conversation. Check this out…

Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you should answer each person. (Colossians 4:6 CSB) Devote yourselves to prayer; stay alert in it with thanksgiving. Act wisely toward outsiders, making the most of the time. (Colossians 4:2,5 CSB)

I am growing in this area for sure. I am trying to be more tactful in my speech. I want to think about how my words are being received, not just what I’m saying. I must be aware that what I say is often NOT what is heard by the other person.

I’m also learning the power and importance of praying intensely before speaking. Sometimes that is a quick prayer, but other times I have time to pray before a tough conversation. I do believe that as a Christ follower, I should be very conscious of my speech. I’m sure Paul was speaking figurative when he said to “season it with salt”!  I do think he was talking about how salt brings out the flavor in the food it is used on rather than draw attention to myself.

I’m going to pay closer attention to my speech today. I want it to be gracious and I want to draw attention to others with a kind and gracious heart. If I need to “call someone out”, I’m going to be kind and gracious and check at how my words are received.

If I have one of those, “Did I just say that?” moments, I’m going to take responsibility and learn to follow the counsel of James. Check this out…

19 My dear brothers and sisters, understand this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to anger, 20 for human anger does not accomplish God’s righteousness. (James 1:19-20 CSB)

Pressing On!

Dwayne

A Musical Instrument

 

Trumpet musical instrument isolatedMy heart goes out to people who can’t talk. I also hurt for those who can’t see with their eyes or hear with their ears. They must compensate some other way for that deficiency. I know that I often take these things for granted. I love to hear people with other accents talk. I was on vacation last week and heard a person who was more “country” or “southern” than myself talk – I could hardly understand him!  I know that people from other parts of the country/world get a chuckle out of hearing people from the south talk. Our tongues can be trained to talk or they can also “fall into” a dialect of sorts.

What if we all sounded the same?

What if our languages were all the same?

What if everyone sang just alike?

I’m thankful that the Lord made us different in so many ways but the same. A huge percentage of humans can talk, hear and see. Our tongues are a musical instrument of sorts. I like to sing and play guitar and I learned a long time ago that I should take care of my voice as well as take care of my guitar.  The Apostle Paul speaks to the church in Corinth about speaking in different tongues/languages. He uses the analogy of a musical instrument. Check this out…

So now, brothers and sisters, if I come to you speaking in other tongues, how will I benefit you unless I speak to you with a revelation or knowledge or prophecy or teaching? Even lifeless instruments that produce sounds—whether flute or harp—if they don’t make a distinction in the notes, how will what is played on the flute or harp be recognized? In fact, if the bugle makes an unclear sound, who will prepare for battle? In the same way, unless you use your tongue for intelligible speech, how will what is spoken be known? For you will be speaking into the air. 10 There are doubtless many different kinds of languages in the world, none is without meaning. 11 Therefore, if I do not know the meaning of the language, I will be a foreigner to the speaker, and the speaker will be a foreigner to me. 12 So also you—since you are zealous for spiritual gifts, seek to excel in building up the church. (1 Corinthians 14:6-12 CSB)

I want to use my voice to praise God, encourage, inspire and instruct.

I can use my voice to criticize or counsel.

I can use my voice to build up or tear down.

I want to speak to the Lord and to others with the language of love, grace, mercy and kindness that He has poured out all over me. I’m grateful, humbled and often speechless to articulate the amazing love of God. I think that God understands my heart no matter what language or tongue I use. He loves for me to talk to Him. He loves for me to praise Him. He loves for me to encourage and love others too!

My voice can be a powerful musical instrument and never sing a note – I just need to keep talking about my journey with the Lord!

Pressing On!

Dwayne

A Few Words

Woman talking through a megaphone and a man plugging his earsWords are distinctive in any language. I use words to form a sentence. Sometimes the sentence is “wordy” (too many words). I have been around people who use too many words very often. I may represent that statement because I’ve been known to talk a bit. I think the reason I like texting is that I will use fewer words in the conversation and get straight to the point. Solomon speaks to this in Ecclesiastes and so I want to get straight to the point. Check this out…

2 Don’t be too quick to speak.
    Don’t be in a hurry to say anything to God.
He is in heaven. You are on earth.
    So use only a few words when you speak.
3 Dreams come to people when they worry a lot.
    When foolish people talk, they use too many words.
7 Dreaming too much and talking too much are meaningless. So have respect for God. (Ecclesiastes 5:2-3,7 NIV)

 

I want my words to be few talking about me. I can’t possibly describe and pay tribute to the Lord with a few words. I want to talk about me less and bless the Lord more. He is the One Who holds the keys for my future and for all eternity.

“Let My Words Be Few” by Matt Redman.

Pressing On!
Dwayne

Voice

Man holding microphoneI used to watch the TV showed called “The Voice”. It was a show about finding the best voice out of a competition that spanned the whole USA. The contestants would “show off” their voice by singing many different styles and genres of music.  The other voice is one we speak with. I have different voices that I use to speak to others. I have an “excited voice”; “stern voice”; “happy voice”; “sad voice” – the list could go on and on.

My voice is a MAJOR way of communicating with others. I have a bit of a southern accent to my voice, but I do know lots of words to use when communicating with others.  King David speaks of the “voice of The Lord” and tries to describe His voice. Check this out….

3 The voice of the Lord is over the waters;

    the God of glory thunders,

    the Lord thunders over the mighty waters.
4 The voice of the Lord is powerful;

    the voice of the Lord is majestic. (Psalm 29:3-4 NIV)

 

I can hardly imagine what it would be like to not have a voice. I’ve grown up my whole life talking and singing. I love to sing. I love to talk.  (I can hear some “amen’s” in the back ground!) Our words should be thought out and measured some before saying them. The Words of God are Powerful and speak deep into my soul. I should think about the power of words to build up or tear down.  James says a lot about the “voice” as he speaks about the tongue. Check this out…

7 All kinds of animals, birds, reptiles and sea creatures are being tamed and have been tamed by mankind, 8 but no human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison. (James 3:7-8 NIV)

I’m writing the above words, but I could easily “speak” them. My journey with the Lord gives “voice” to my life. I’m going to keep reading ,  keep writing, and speaking with the voice God gave me.

Pressing On!
Dwayne