Empty promises. How many times do we make them? We say we’re going to follow through on something, but we don’t. We say we’re committed, but we aren’t. We say we’re going to stop, but we don’t.
Jesus says: “And don’t say anything you don’t mean. This counsel is embedded deep in our traditions. You only make things worse when you lay down a smoke screen of pious talk, saying, ‘I’ll pray for you,’ and never doing it, or saying, ‘God be with you,’ and not meaning it. You don’t make your words true by embellishing them with religious lace. In making your speech sound more religious, it becomes less true. Just say ‘yes’ and ‘no.’ When you manipulate words to get your own way, you go wrong.” Matthew 5:33-37 (MSG)
Why is it that we again and again say things we don’t really mean? When we’re asked to do something, and we know we aren’t going to do it, why do we say “yes” but then we don’t actually do it? Why not just say “no” to begin with? Not being forthright, honest and candid damages our credibility, reputation, witness.
Those of us who are followers of Christ are called to live by a higher standard. What we say should always be true. We should not pretend to be pious when we are not.
I’ve been pondering why it is that people increasingly seem to be distancing themselves from the Christian faith. I think hypocrisy, saying one thing but not really meaning it (particularly as revealed by our actions), turns lots of folks away from the Lord. And lots of times, it’s not because they would absolutely refuse to believe in Jesus, it’s because those of us who say we believe in Jesus do not represent him well.
I’m so grateful for the many dedicated followers of Jesus in our Journey Church community of faith. Let’s all every day live fully committed lives for Christ as we genuinely “walk the talk.”