Most people would agree that the old adage, “actions speak louder than words” is true and reliable. More often than not, it isn’t what a person says but what a person does that shows others their true intentions and feelings concerning certain matters.
In fact, there’s a link between belief and actions regardless of whether or not a person is a believer. And because it’s human nature to act upon what a person believes, a Christian will follow the actions taught in scripture, while a non-believer will follow the actions of what the world accepts.
In other words, actions speak the truth of who we are. And Jesus, using his own actions as an example, teaches about this subject in John 10. Let’s take a look:
Jesus had just claimed to be God and the Jews were furious. As the Jews picked up stones to stone him, Jesus tells them he has performed many miracles and asks them which miracle were they going to stone him for? The Jews answer that they don’t want to stone him for any of his good works, but for claiming to be God. So Jesus replies,
“If I am not doing my Father’s works, don’t believe me. But if I am doing them, and you don’t believe me, believe the works. This way you will know and understand that the Father is in me and I in the Father.” (John 10:37-38 CSB)
Basically, Jesus tells them that his good works back up what he’s saying. And he doesn’t just say this here — earlier, he said the exact same thing. Listen to this:
“Then the Jews surrounded him and asked, ‘How long are you going to keep us in suspense? If you are the Messiah, tell us plainly.’
“I did tell you and you don’t believe,” Jesus answered them. “The works that I do in my Father’s name testify about me.” (John 10:24-25 CSB)
Again, Jesus tells them to take a look at his actions and see if they align with his words. And of course they did because Jesus lived his life in perfect agreement with God and always did what was pleasing to the Father (John 8:29).
So, now let’s fast-forward to the present day. How can we, as modern Christians, apply this teaching to our lives? In the exact same way Jesus taught it all those many years ago: by taking a good, hard look at our actions.
It’s our actions that speak more powerfully than any words we could ever say out loud. Do we help others? Then our actions speak compassion. Do we listen when others are hurting? Then our actions speak empathy. Do we trust God with our life decisions? Then our actions speak submission.
But the true test of what we really believe is what we do when we’re alone, when no one’s looking. Do we still uphold the teachings of Jesus? Simply put, our actions are the true words of our belief system.
Remember, Jesus said that a tree is known by its fruit (Matthew 12:33). So this week, why not make a point of doing what it is you’re saying.
After all, we all know “talk is cheap,” right?
Donna Hughey is an award-winning Christian author and columnist. She lives in Crescent City.