Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Actions Trump Words

It's no secret that I am a word geek. I love words. I'm one of those people who actually delights in puns; clever plays on words make me smile. And of course, I love to read; a well-turned phrase can quickly transport me into a fictional world of adventure, quicken my heart, or convict my soul. And the blogworld is full of inspired writers who make me laugh and challenge me daily.

But I've been thinking how easily at times the words can roll off of our tongues or through our typing fingers, especially related to spiritual matters, while the heart can remain untouched. How easily we I can pray a lofty prayer and walk away only to ignore a need or grump at my kids.

It struck me yesterday that God must sometimes feel a bit like Eliza Doolittle in My Fair Lady:

Only He might change the words to something like this:

Words! Words! Words! I’m so sick of words!
I get words all day through;
First from her, now from you!
Is that all you Christians can do?

Don’t talk of all
My glories above;
If Me you love, show Me!
Mere sacrifice, I don’t desire.
If you’re on fire,
Show Me!

Here we are together
As you have your quiet time!
Don’t pray with words
Grand and sublime.

If you really love Me
You will just do what I ask;
Take off that spiritual mask!

Wasn't your heart
Changed by My touch?
Don’t say how much,
Show Me! Show Me!
Don’t talk! Obey--that gets My “wow”!
Make Me no unfulfilled vow.
Show Me now!

Sing me no song!
Read me no verse!
Don’t just converse!
Show Me!

Don’t talk of faith, don’t talk of trust!
Your deeds are a must,
Show Me!

I’ve become so weary hearing
You speak empty words.
There isn’t one
I haven’t heard.
Here we are together
And My Spirit is in you:
Your life I long to renew!

Haven’t your arms
Longed to meet needs?
Faith must have deeds.
Show Me! Show Me!

Don’t wait until
Life’s waning years
To put your hand to the plow.
Show Me now!

(c) Mocha with Linda 2008 - with apologies to Alan J. Lerner/Frederick Loewe!

Now I certainly don't mean to suggest that God tires of hearing our prayers. The Bible says our prayers are incense before His throne. But Scripture also tells us that He is displeased when our mouths utter words that are inconsistent with our hearts and actions.

Do not be quick with your mouth, do not be hasty in your heart to utter anything before God. God is in heaven and you are on earth, so let your words be few. Ecclesiastes 5:2

You have wearied the LORD with your words. Malachi 2:17

"Does the LORD delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices as much as in obeying the voice of the LORD ? To obey is better than sacrifice, and to heed is better than the fat of rams. 1 Samuel 15:22

"If you love me, you will obey what I command." John 14:15

Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth. I John 3:18

As the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without deeds is dead. James 2:26

Oh Lord, may the words of my mouth be pleasing to You. And may I not be content with mere words, but may I show my love for You with the actions of my life.

Originally posted on March 12, 2008


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quilly said...

Obviously this is God inspired. If only we could all get it recorded and listen to it daily.

A Stone Gatherer said...

First of all SMACK to me! God has been dealing with this very thing. I just had 1 Samual 15:22 on my Facebook yesterday. I love this, did you write it? Can I share it?

Rebecca said...

What a strong and timely challenge.


I just got home from a Youth Conference called Winter Xtreme...and word usage was one of the days topics. Loved your post...and does sometimes roll easily off our tongues and fingers....many times I have started a post....only to have God intervene and make me change it....or delete it. I too am a word geek.

Beverlydru said...

This is an awesome post. Thank you.