Words and Actions
Dear children, let’s not merely say that we love each other; let us show the truth by our actions. Our actions will show that we belong to the truth, so we will be confident when we stand before God. - 1 John 3:18-19
As I meditate on the incarnation and Christmas season, I'm drawn to the life and ministry of Christ. Like the Old Testament prophets he spoke directly against the political and religious leaders of the day who had a tendency to say one thing and do another.
Christ not only told people how to live, love, serve, lead, and pray - he then demonstrated it daily.
He cared for the sick, he engaged the sinners and outcasts of society, led his disciples with fairness and transparency - his actions proved the truth of his words.
John's letter reminds me today that I too must move beyond words and demonstrate my love of others and Christ through actions. How do I do this as a leader in the home and at work?
- When I give my word to my family that I will be home for dinner, attend sporting events, and be engaged at home - I do it.
- When I tell my assistant that I trust her to handle a project - I don't micromanage her.
- When I promise a level of service to a client - I deliver it.
- When teach my children values and principles - I live them out in front of them, even when I don't want to.
- When I say, "I love you" to my wife, I show her by doing things that fill her love tank, mean something special to her, and let her know that I cherish her.
When I say one thing and do another, even with little things, I slowly close the door on trust and intimacy with those I love and lead. Follow-through on my word, living my values out each day in my behavior, and going the extra mile opens the door of vulnerability and dialogue - draws people to me - and sparks their interest in why I chose to live the way I do. This in turn, opens the door for me to share Christ.
Thank you LORD for loving us and showing us that love by sending your son, Jesus. Holy Spirit prompt me to have my words turn into action. Help me not to get into the routine of saying, "how are you?", "I love you", or "I'm proud of you!" and not meaning it. Jesus, teach me how to be more like you - to love like you - to keep my promises like you - so that I too can stand confidently before the Father one day. Amen.
- Who hears you say I love you, but needs to see it in action?
- Is there an area of your leadership that requires less words and more action?
- How could the culture you are creating at home and at work be improved if you lived out your love and care for people each day?
Make it a great day!