Tag Archives: acting

Thinkers and Doers

Today I had Chinese takeout for lunch. The end of the meal always consists of eating the fortune cookie. It said something like don’t just think about it, act on it. Though I am not into fortune cookies, despite finding them tasty for being crispy bits filled with air, the words on the little slip of paper are a great reminder to us all.

See we can all think about living for Christ. We can all think about being a shining light. We can all think about what is good and pure and holy. We can think about how it is good to help the needy. We can think about how it is important to love others. But where does thinking get us? What happens if we all just sit and think and no one does a thing?

Edmund Burke said, “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.” Today I pray that thinking isn’t the only thing you are doing. Actions speak louder than words. James said to be doers of the word. It’s important to ponder things. It’s important to not rush into things. But if we do nothing else but think, if we never be the hands and feet of Christ, then we miss so many great opportunities. Take advantage of each opportunity. God put these people in your path for a reason.

“But don’t just listen to God’s word. You must do what it says. Otherwise, you are only fooling yourselves.” – James 1:22 [NIV]

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Playactors

There are people who do good things because it is what they feel led to do for people. There are also people who do good things to let everyone know that they have done good things. Perhaps it is to tack it onto a resume as volunteer service or to post some photos to Facebook or tell others. But the Bible tells us to do good things without others knowing—even going as far as to not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing.

This does not mean we are to sneak around like ninjas making sure not to get caught doing good deeds. What it means is that we are not to be making a performance out of our good deeds. The Message calls these people playactors, people who try to get a lot of attention on themselves as they are doing a good deed.

Sadly there are many people even in the ministry who attempt to get a lot of attention for what they are doing. At the end of the day, everything we do should point to Christ. If we are pointing to ourselves, we are playactors. If you are acting compassionate only because eyes are on you, you are a playactor. Let us leave the acting for the movies and be real. May everything you do point others to Christ.

“Be especially careful when you are trying to be good so that you don’t make a performance out of it. It might be good theater, but the God who made you won’t be applauding. When you do something for someone else, don’t call attention to yourself. You’ve seen them in action, I’m sure—‘playactors’ I call them—treating prayer meeting and street corner alike as a stage, acting compassionate as long as someone is watching, playing to the crowds. They get applause, true, but that’s all they get. When you help someone out, don’t think about how it looks. Just do it—quietly and unobtrusively. That is the way your God, who conceived you in love, working behind the scenes, helps you out.”
-Matthew 6:1-4 [MSG]

Recognize and Refuse

There are moments in life when we recognize what is right but we do not always do what we should in response. We like to call it our sin nature. In Isaiah 42, it spoke of those who understood what was right but they did nothing. The people heard what they were to do, but they did not act.

James said we are to be doers of the word. True faith requires action. The people Isaiah was referring to knew what was right but did not act on it. We do the same thing today. It is easier to refuse to act. It is easier to ignore. It is easier to accept what the world accepts.

Today let us challenge ourselves to listen. Let us recognize what is right and act. Let us stand firm in Christ. Knowing and refusing to act is worse than not knowing at all.

“You see and recognize what is right but refuse to act on it. You hear with your ears, but you don’t really listen.” – Isaiah 42:20 [NLT]

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Constant Disobedience

As a parent it can be very frustrating to constantly be repeating the same thing over and over again. There may be a rule that you have for your child’s benefit and you find yourself having to repeat it because it is not followed. It can be very nerve-wracking when you sound like a broken record with some rules, and yet you find that the repetition doesn’t always equal obedience.

Today I had to spend a great deal of time fixing my son’s computer because he failed to follow the rules that I have enforced since he learned how to use a computer. For some reason, his desire to follow the other way caused him to neglect my rule, a rule which was set for his own good and for the benefit of his computer’s health.

We do this all the time. God has left us His Word and within we find a lot of rules to follow and an example of how to live better. Yet we find ourselves constantly disobeying again and again. The Bible is very repetitive but we still don’t get it. We still fall short. Thankfully my son has a mom who is a bit of a tech nerd who can fix the consequences caused from disobeying the computer rules. Thankfully we have a Savior who has taken the punishment once and for all for each one of us despite our disobedience.

Today, thank God for His love and His sacrifice and pray for a more obedient heart—a heart devoted to Him.

 “And this is love: that we walk in obedience to his commands. As you have heard from the beginning, his command is that you walk in love.” – 2 John 1:6 [NIV]