Saturday, April 17, 2010

Saying vs Doing


Growing up, there was a distinct variation between myself, my brother and the way we responded to responsibilities. My mom would ask us to do a specific chore and, sure enough, our responses could not be more different.

My response would be an immediate acceptance of the chore, but actually doing it would be an entirely different battle. Laziness would eventually win out and the assignment would go untouched.

My brother, on the other hand, would adamantly refuse to stop what he was doing and complete the request. He knew he wasn’t going to do it right then and he had no problem saying so. His words, although at times rebellious, always matched his actions. Inevitably, he would come to his senses and eventually complete the task set before him.

Now that we are adults, I often wonder: Of the two responses, which was worse: The person who was compliant, but never acted or the person who acted, but antagonistically? I have come to appreciate first-hand the extreme difference between saying and doing.

Luke 6:46
"Why do you call me, 'Lord, Lord,' and do not do what I say?” – NIV

How often I find myself acting in faith the way I acted in childhood. I exalt God with my mouth, but dishonor Him with my actions. I have a reluctant fickleness about me that I have never seemed to overcome. While my intentions are always pure at first, in due course laziness leads to idleness, and idleness leads to inaction.

This verse in Luke reeks of Jesus Christ. In one sentence he manages to put his finger on the unpredictability that invades all of our hearts. We all have nothing but the best of intentions when deciding to follow Christ, but by the end, that is all that remains: Good Intentions.

So what is the answer to this question: Why do we call Him Lord, but do not do what he says? Is it because we are afraid of change? Is it because we are set in our ways? Is it because we know ourselves enough to know that we are the way we are and nothing is going to transform us at this point in our lives?

I think that is the point: We know ourselves too well, and Him not enough.

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