In college, I became more serious about my faith. No longer holding onto the coattails of my parents’ belief, my faith became my own as I learned to seek Jesus for myself.
I vividly recall lying on my bed at home, during holiday break, and listening to the latest worship music by Michael W. Smith (it was the mid 90’s). In the darkness and quiet of my basement bedroom, I tried to focus on the words and and enter into the Lord’s Presence.
My mom came downstairs to do laundry, turned on the light, and interrupted my quiet time. I flew off the handle, yelling about the disruption, “I’m trying to connect with the Lord here!”
I sure didn’t act very spiritual with my outburst. There was an obvious disconnect between what I was professing and how I was behaving.
We used to work at a ministry that housed guest groups for weekend retreats. There was a large group that came each year—passionate for God. My husband’s office shook below the meeting room as this particular group worshipped. The people danced and sang with their whole heart. However, when it was time for this group to eat in the cafeteria, their behavior was less than Christlike. Complaining, ingratitude, and not cleaning up after themselves left a poor impression on the staff who served them.
We have all been there, haven’t we? When we profess one thing but our behavior displays another? Sometimes there is a disconnect between our talk and our walk in matters of faith.
As a writer, I have been convicted on numerous occasions, that what I am writing is not lining up with how I am living.
Just the other day, I was writing about the tug of war between worry and worship. As I diligently worked on the chapter, I wrung my hands with worry—trying to get the words just right. I was on edge, anxious, trying to craft the message in a beautiful display of literary genius.
The next day was Sunday, so I took a break from writing. In the midst of worship at church, God gently pointed out the flaw in my approach. I hadn’t been living out my message. I was fretting while trying to encourage others to worship instead of worry. Oh the irony!
I didn’t want to be a hypocrite. As I lifted my hands in worship, I lived out my message. I began to worship with my whole heart, trusting God that the words would come later.
And you know what? The next day, when I sat down to write, the words began to flow, from an authentic place.
How about you? Are there some areas in your life where you are exhibiting a disconnect between what you say you believe and how you are actually living?
It can be tempting to compartmentalize our faith. We may demonstrate selfless love within the walls of our church, but act self-serving within the walls of our home. We may ooze kindness to our boss, yet boss others around on social media. We may talk about the importance of giving to others but bypass the poor within our own communities.
The breech between words and actions can short-circuit our impact to a watching world.
There is no condemnation, but there might be conviction as we evaluate the relationship between our talk and our walk.
Let’s confess sin, admit weakness, and then go forward in the forgiveness and grace readily available through Christ.
Let’s ask the Holy Spirit to help us bridge the gap between what we say and what we do. Let’s be doers of the Word and point to the love of the Savior, who repaired the disconnect between us and God through His death and resurrection.
Dear God: Forgive us for saying one thing and doing another. Would You help us reflect You, with our words and actions? You are the Only Perfect One and Your perfection removes our sin and declares us righteous. Thank You for grace! Thank You that You love us no matter what. Help us to honor You and give You the rightful place in our lives. Thank You for bridging the gap between us and God. Thank You for saving us, once and for all. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
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Katie M. Reid is a tightly wound woman who fumbles to receive and extend grace in everyday moments. She delights in her husband, four children and their life in ministry. Through writing, singing, speaking and photography Katie encourages others to find grace in the unraveling of life. She has an album, Echoes of My Heart, and is a writer for God-sized Dreams and Purposeful Faith. She blogs at katiemreid.com and can be found on Twitter @Katie_M_Reid