"Your actions speak so loudly, I cannot hear what you are saying"
-- Ralph Waldo Emerson
Have you heard that quote before? I happen to love it. I discovered it a long time ago when I was going through some rough stuff -- and it was perfect for how I was feeling at the time. Since then, it has just stuck with me.
Face it -- people talk. A few speak real and honest words. Many others, though, only talk to hear their own voice. It is as if in some way they truly believe that if they talk enough they will eventually convince you to see them for something other than they are. As if the words will form the person in your mind and override the visual actions and body language you are face to face with.
It works. Sometimes. But only for a short time.
Eventually, actions show through and we are able to fully discover the real person who has been yapping all along. Come on, you've all experienced this at some point in life.
So, when it comes to spreading God's love, do you think actions or words make a better impression?
I could share with you how much I absolutely love black olives. However, if we were out to dinner and one shows up in my salad, you won't witness me showing much love to the little sucker as I pass him on to Tina -- and not necessarily in a graceful manner. I honestly find them disgusting. My actions will show you that.
Jesus knew that showing love was more important than the sound of his own voice. How did he do it?
By staying connected to God
"I have loved you even as the Father has loved me. Remain in my love." -- John 15:9 (NLT) Jesus stems from God, like a branch and a strong trunk. Love comes from God. Therefore, if you have a heart full of love, there is a lot of God in there, too. After all, "We love each other because he loved us first." -- 1 John 4:19
By loving everyone
There are some people who seem difficult to love. You may find that your love can't penetrate the hard, protective shell on the outside. Kinda like Zacchaeus (Luke 19:1-10), the tax collector who Jesus visited in his home. He was a deceitful sinner. Jesus could have acted like he was not worthy because of his sins and passed on by without a second glance. But he didn't. In fact, he took the high road by going to his home.
God wants us to love everyone -- even those who seem unlovable. "...Love each other in the same way I have loved you." -- John 15:12
By helping others
Be a beacon of light to lead those who are lost. Be the strong hand that can lift someone up. Be kind and help others -- for no other reason other than it is what your heart knows is right. "...Love your neighbor as yourself." -- Luke 10:27
In our relationships and friendships, it is sometimes the little things that make us feel loved, right? Your spouse could say "I love you..." a thousand times a day. But, when you find your car has been blessed with a full tank of gas and one stop removed from your errand list (thanks to a loving spouse) -- THAT is when you feel loved.
You can say you want to help the homeless or the family in the hurricane who lost everything. Unfortunately, your verbal compassion will only get you so far -- and it does nothing to help those individuals.
You have to actually take action to make a difference.
Be aware of your actions and know that others are watching you. It doesn't matter what you say, but rather what you do. Act like Jesus and show love like Jesus. Stay connected with God, love everyone, and always help those in need.