We have a famous saying today that states, “It’s not what you say; it’s what you do.” The question that is asked by that statement is, though one may talk a great game, does one’s life match the words? An individual can speak about the values of living a clean and holy life, for example, but is he living a clean and holy life? The “do what I say and not what I do” position is empty and meaningless. If a person is unable to back up his words with a representative life, that person is not living truthfully. He needs to re-evaluate himself and allow the Spirit of God to change his ways. Until that happens, he is unworthy to advise others, although his advice may be sound.
In addition to backing up one’s words with a representative life, let’s go one step further. I propose that it is not just what one says and does that is important, but it is the motive behind what one says and does that matters. Here is an important question to be considered. What is the state of the heart of an individual who acts in a certain way? Teaching others to forgive when the teacher has a heart of unforgiveness, for example, is plainly hypocritical. Talking about how one forgives to look good in the eyes of another is even worse. All glory and honor must go to God, not to oneself.
Then let’s look at a young woman who decides to attend church so that she can marry a preacher. Talking about the importance of regular church attendance and even going to church regularly are not enough. Attending church for the wrong reasons is deceitful, and the young woman’s heart in our example is not pure towards God. Our motives must be able to stand the acid test of God’s evaluation. 1 Samuel 16:7 (KJV) states,
…for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the Lord looketh on the heart.
God not only looks at our actions, but he looks at the reason behind our actions. That means that our words must be backed up with a solid life, our hearts must be right, and our motives must be pure. Man can hear our words and see our actions, but he cannot see the heart. But, we must always remember, God can.
Let us pray: Dear Heavenly Father, your Word says in Psalm 51:6-7 (KJV) 6 Behold, thou desirest truth in the inward parts: and in the hidden part thou shalt make me to know wisdom. 7 Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean: wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow. Help me to be pure in words, thoughts, deeds, and, most importantly of all, my heart. Amen.