Saying or Showing? (by Tim Klink of Prison Discipleship Ministry)
“He hath shewed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the LORD require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?”
It is amazing how age seems to bring things into focus concerning our life. Now that I am “officially” old, I have much that I can look back on. As I was living those moments, many things didn’t make sense to me, but now that I can look in the rear-view mirror, much of it comes together.
I read this verse and remember how my mom and dad taught me about life. They never taught me how to be bad because that came naturally. They always taught me to do good by their words, but mostly by their actions. They were not perfect my any means, as none of us are either, but their direction was to do good, which I observed. In all of their dealings with other people they conducted themselves “justly,” with great mercy, and always knew that they were only humble servants of God.
They could have just told me these things with words, and they did, but what made the greatest impact on me was their actions which reinforced their words. They didn’t say one thing, and live something else.
This verse proclaims that God has “shewed thee, O man.” God certainly teaches us through His Word, but He also shows us what He requires of us through the life of His Son Jesus Christ as He walked among men. Jesus’ actions matched what He taught. One can only imagine how God’s enemy, Satan, must have tried to influence Jesus every moment of every day to live for Himself apart from what He taught, which would have been sin. Had Satan succeeded, Jesus would have been disqualified as our Saviour, and His teaching would have been just so many empty words.
As we walk through this life, the words that we say as a witness to the saving grace, and unconditional love of God for us mean much, and can be used by God to bring others to salvation. But, when we “show” others what it is that we are teaching, it has a much stronger impact upon them. Are you “showing” or are you only “saying” with your life?