Actions speak louder than words


By Rev. O.L. Johnson

Religion Columnist

The phrase “talk is cheap” expresses a thought that I’m sure is familiar to most of us. It’s been around quite a while.

As a matter of fact, it is a thought that is biblically based. God says it this way in James 1: 19, “… let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak …” It’s easy to talk about what we intend to do — but I like to add a post script to this thought.

Think of it this way: talk is cheap, but action is priceless. God weighs in on this idea in the book of James 1:19-27. I encourage you to read it at your leisure to fully get His take on our focus for this article, action as opposed to talking. In this passage, it’s crystal clear that God is an action God. Sedentary Christians are counter-productive to his purpose.

So, in the scriptures, He encourages us to constantly be knowledgeable in His word, and to act according to the word, keeping our talking to a minimum in all situations. God is a stanch supporter of those who are doers rather than talkers. 

In James, he promises victorious lives to those who continually act in accordance with His word — who are continual doers of the word.

We should never think we can fool God into thinking we are something we are not. He is well aware of the hypocrites among us who pretend piety, but who continually talk too much. 

To those he says, “you’re not fooling anyone — you’re under self-deception and are recognized as one whose worship is empty and of no use or profit to anyone.” 

If you haven’t seen it by now, digest this; since God is an action God, He expects his people to follow in His footsteps and be action people. There are times when we need to share our intentions verbally, but God prefers that we keep our verbal exchanges to a minimum and not allow our talk to replace our actions. 

He encourages us to hear and understand when He speaks to us through his word and to act according to what we hear. This requires constant study of the Holy Scriptures, which in turn requires commitment to be constant in our resolve to be in a continual learning mode in our relationship with Him.

The idea of consistency plays a vital role in the lives of believers. God’s will is that we be consistent in our action, in maintaining a high degree of moral fiber, in hearing and doing His Word, in studying, understanding and applying His word to our lives. How consistent are you in each of these arenas in life? Do a bit of self-evaluation.

Rev. O.L. Johnson, a retired LAPD lieutenant, is an associate pastor in his home church, Greater New Zion Baptist, 501 W. 80th St. in South Los Angeles.