My dad had a saying, though as time has gone on I realize that it wasn’t his saying, but one he had heard. I found this with many of my dad’s sayings. I grew up thinking he was such a great philosopher only to realize the ideas didn’t originate with him. But that’s ok, there is nothing wrong with a child growing up being impressed with his dad. But back to the saying, “Talk’s cheap-- it takes money to buy whiskey”. The non alcoholic version, would be, “Put your money where your mouth is.” Bottom line, don’t just talk it-- do it! For some reason this saying always stuck with me.
After I became a Christian I was so excited to discover this concept in the scriptures! Now, this isn’t just the non alcoholic version, but actually the Godly version. It is found in 1John 3:18, where it says “Let us not love with words and tongue, but with action and in truth”. A very similar concept, but with a much more positive aspect to it. It is not so much the words we say, but how we live our lives. This passage is one of my top five and I always try to apply it to how I live.
We are coming upon the season of thankfulness. It starts in a few days with Thanksgiving, runs through Christmas and usually ends with resolutions in the new year. You see the idea of gratitude in the movies this time of year. It may be a new holiday movie or one you have watched dozens of times over the years. There are the commentators on TV at events telling what they are thankful for, newscasters bring out stories of people being thankful and now days, it is found in tweets and other social media. It looks good, and is expected in our culture to express in words our thankfulness. Prepare to hear it a lot over the next six weeks.
It is easy to speak the words of thankfulness. It is much more difficult to live them out. I often hear Christians expressing thankfulness for the country we live in and the freedoms we have. I do appreciate the standard of living I have been allowed to have, simply because of where I happened to be born geographically. I am thankful to God for all of this, and express it in my words. But if it ends there, it is merely words.
Are you truly thankful to God for the freedoms the liberties you have? Then show Him, not with words that can be short lived or hollow, but with what you do. If we love God and are truly thankful, we will live it out by talking to others about that love. No, not standing on a street corner, or taking out an ad in the newspaper; but, by actually talking to those we know. The next six weeks are one of two times each year when people focus more on Jesus. We have a special service coming up in a few weeks, focused on the celebration of Jesus coming into this world. How are you going to take those words of thankfulness and turn them into action? How are you going to love in action and truth? Who are you going to invite on December 22? Are we truly thankful to God for the gift of salvation or are we just living our lives the way we choose and mouthing cheap words?