He’s so overweight that the company he works for had to get a special reinforced chair for him… and he still broke it.
Reference: v.16a They claim to know God, but by their actions they deny him. (NIV Bible)
Explore: A friend of mine works with a guy called Michael who claims to have a six pack (that is, well-defined abdominal muscles). He goes to the gym a couple of times a week, he has a weights-set at home and he eats protein bars for energy. That all sounds plausible, right? The only problem is, Michael is 150 kilos (over 330 pounds). At one lunch sitting he will eat enough food to feed a small country. He’s so overweight that the company he works for had to get a special reinforced chair for him… and he still broke it. While he may work hard to build up those abdominal muscles the rest of his lifestyle inhibits him from ever seeing that defined six pack. While he may claim that it’s lurking somewhere in his torso, his actions make it hard for anyone else to believe it.
Application: Within our faith communities we can often hear people claim to have a spiritual six pack. They give all the religious answers and can quote all the Christian clichés. But when you look at the rest of their lives they seem far from the example that was set by Christ. They don’t respect other people, they pull others down rather than build them up and their week seems filled with plans to promote themselves, rather than promoting God. While they say one thing their actions say the opposite. This was not the type of life that Jesus displayed and Paul is reminding the early believers that their actions should not be contrary to their faith. This is a great reminder for us today too. While it is easy to say the right words, it is more challenging to put our faith in to action. And yet it is our actions that will speak so much louder than anything we say.
Prayer: Lord, Your actions have resounded throughout history. May I learn by Your example. Amen.
Do any of your actions seem contrary to your faith? The way you speak, spend your money, or use your free time?
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This article was written by Linda Bailey
Linda started theological studies in 1999 in Australia. After working for ten years in various church ministries, she now works as the breakfast producer at 89.9 LightFM - the Christian radio station in Melbourne, Australia. She writes blogs every day about passages she is currently reading in the Bible. Follow her on Google Plus +Linda Bailey or Facebook by clicking the like button on the right of this page.