What do YOU say about YOU when you DO?
3/12/2009 | Author: RCW
What a confusing title, eh? (And no, I am not Canadian).

I suppose the title deserves some explanation. To mix things up, I will start with a question:

    How is that other people define you? Do they ask you for a definition? Perhaps sometimes they do - maybe on a first date or in some sort of "get-to-know-you" game, etc. There will certainly be times for this. Perhaps the most common time is during a job interview. It is a classic interview question: "Tell me a little bit about yourself." It's such a vague question.

    If we really get honest, those scenarios are exceptions. The much more frequent way that people find out about us or begin to understand who we are is simply by watching and listening.

    In other words, people who spend a lot of time around you may know you even better than you know yourself. How? Imagine it this way: Every single action that you take and every single word you say, communicates something about you. Sometimes its explicit (like when you answer the interview question and say, "I am from Pittsburgh and I love cats."), and sometimes it is implicit (like when someone asks you if you'd care for anchovies on your pizza and you respond with an "Ugh!"). In either case, you communicate something (either explicit or implicit) about yourself. The scary thing is that the number of implicit statements you make about yourself is overwhelmingly enormous compared to the relatively few explicit things you may claim about yourself.

    Imagine...everything you say and do makes a statement about yourself. In other words, everything you do fills in the blank in the sentence: "I am ____________." If I have you over to my house and I ask you if you are comfortable with the temperature, offer you a beverage, make you feel at ease, and the like, then you hear me say, "I am a considerate host." If I slap you on the back, turn on the television, and ignore you, then you will deduce that "He is not a very considerate host." My actions fill in the blanks on their own without me ever saying a single explicit word about my own hospitality.

Jesus surely meant to point out this whole concept when He said that "No good tree bears bad fruit, nor does a bad tree bear good fruit. Each tree is recognized by its own fruit. People do not pick figs from thorn bushes, or grapes from briers. The good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and the evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For out of the overflow of his heart his mouth speaks" (Luke 6:43-45 NIV).

If I followed you around everywhere you went for a couple of weeks, I would have a very good idea of who you are. Would it be who you hope to be? Actions speak so much louder than words. "Be very careful, then, how you live — not as unwise but as wise..." (Eph. 5:15 NIV).

Prayer: Father, help me to examine my actions. Help me to be the person you've made me to be. May you open my eyes to the messages I communicate about myself and (since I am a Christian) therefore about you. Make me someone who is so transformed by you that everything I say, do, or think would communicate your life-changing power within me. May I not have to fake holiness, or tell people constantly what I am about. Instead, may I BE holy as You are holy (Lev. 11:44; 1 Pet. 1:16) so that "my light would shine before men, that they may see my good deeds, and glorify You, my Father in heaven. (Matthew 5:16)"
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On March 16, 2009 at 4:30 PM , Erin Wilkins said...

A very good and convicting post, Cole. Sometimes I need to remember that my actions are saying to people "You are not very important to me." Unfortunately we also tell this to God when we do not honor Him with our time and actions. I will be praying that my actions say "I love you" to the people around me and to God.