I was once employed with a local tax office. Customers could pay online with credit and debit cards, but our in house system wasn’t set up to process them. Cash and checks were the only methods of payment. Since most people didn’t carry cash we received numerous checks.
Mixed in the checks were a few with inadequate funds to cover them. The Treasurer established rules dictating what information tellers must have when taking a customer’s check in order to safeguard our interest. They were typical: correct date address and phone number, driver’s license number and signature. And of course the teller’s initials. Some of these items only helped determine who took the check but some actually validated it. Without the correct date and a signature, the bank would likely return it.
Paul’s motives were sometimes questioned, so he frequently offered his lifestyle as validation for what he taught. And you know of our concern for you from the way we lived when we were with you (I Thessalonians 1:5).
“I can do what I want” isn’t a good attitude to have-especially if we want others to know our Jesus. Technically, we can do what we want-but not without consequence. The worn out cliché, “Actions speak louder than words” will always be true.
People may listen to what we say, but what they see impresses them more.
Designer clothes, expensive jewelry, lavish homes and extravagant cars may impress some, but nothing validates the Biblical message more than simple acts of kindness, encouraging words, a comforting hug that says everything’s going to be okay and unconditional acceptance of others no matter what they’ve done. If you want people to believe what you say, validate it with how you live.
Prayer: Living Savior, form our actions to meet our speech.
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