We hear it all the time: Actions speak louder than words. This has become a cliché, but the fulfillment of this statement is still severely lacking, perhaps now more than ever before. Now, people can create completely false worlds and false versions of themselves using only the power of the world wide web. How many people do you know that actually live the happy, glamourous, and inspirational life that they try to project on facebook? Not that many. How about all of the great tweets we post? Or the cool photos on instagram? Most of what we see now is a mirage. Before, a ridiculously glorified image was limited to celebrity-types of people. In 1968, Andy Warhol, the controversial American artist warned that “In the future, everyone will be world-famous for 15 minutes”… and now I’m not sure that people get even that much time.
People are quick to post inspirational quotes or challenging thoughts, but most of it lacks real depth. This is not because the messages aren’t deep, but the life behind the message often has little substance. There’s no weight behind what they’re writing because the words remain on the page and don’t permeate their lives. You can teach what you know, but you can only leave what you live. And I understand that we often post about what we’re aspiring to be or how we want to be living, like a dream-board… and that’s great stuff; we all have tons of room to grow into the people we’re destined to be and it’s absolutely beautiful to set these goals and aspirations. But I’m deeply bothered by the fact that most of us aren’t really even trying to do what we say we’re trying to do. It’s all talk.
Even as I write this, it’s a challenge to myself more than me calling out any of my readers. I have to take out the plank in my own eye before I try to help my brother take out the speck in his. I fall short in this area daily. I do try to live the words that I profess and it’s not easy at all. Just today, my twitter post reads, “Don’t talk, act. Don’t say, show. Don’t promise, prove.” That right there is not easy, especially for well-intentioned people that love to talk (like me). But real men do what they say they’re going to do. So some quick advice: If you want to be a man of your word, speak less. I desire to be a man that under-promises and over-delivers consistently. The actions of my life should be loud enough for anyone to hear. My goal is to actually be the man I project. And as I type these words, I’m now accountable for what I wrote. Words are powerful things, it’s a bit daunting sometimes.
One of people’s biggest turn-offs with Christianity is that Christians don’t live according to what they saying. They’re hypocrites. Even Gandhi said, “If Christians would really live according to the teachings of Christ, as found in the Bible, all of India would be Christian today.” In the Bible, James Chapter 1 talks about people who are merely ‘hearers’ of the Word. He says that you can compare these types of people to someone who looks in the mirror and as soon as they turn away from their reflection, they forget what they look like. There’s no consistency there. Truth be told, everyone in the world is a hypocrite by the definition that most people use. No one lives the way they say they’re going to all the time. However, the matter remains that we should aim to be authentic through and through… to be who we say we are. And if you’re concerned about Christianity because of the mistakes that human people have made, that has nothing to do with Jesus. He doesn’t make mistakes. People do, He doesn’t.
Anyone can quote a bunch of cool stuff, and make fun photos on instagram, and talk about loving people all the time, the internet is a perfect place to create that persona. Don’t get it twisted, it’s good that there’s a space for all of that interesting stuff, but there is tremendous authority in your words when you actually live the words you speak. It’s as if God Himself backs your word. A life of impact comes when you do what you say you’re going to do, when your life becomes a manifestation, an embodiment, of the words. Even if you were to grab hold of one solid principle, and to focus on truly implementing that principle in your life, you would see outstanding results and power in that. In the third book of John, the author’s prayer is “that you may prosper… even as your soul prospers.” In order to truly prosper externally, we much prosper internally first. To be an instrument of change in the world, I have to change first. There’s no way around that.
Let’s practice what we preach, and now-a-days, practice what we tweet.