I am a writer. Of course, I am more than that. But, always I have words and ideas jockeying around in my head. I am continually thinking about sentence structure and about which words should be married to which ideas. Often, I fail in my match-making efforts. Even so, I figure that if I keep trying, maybe at some point, I will make the perfect match–at least from my vantage point.
Most of my ideas and words center around God and how he relates to all of us and how we relate, or should relate, to him. The problem with all of this is that I can easily mistake my writing about God and speaking about God for living like God. We all know it’s easier to say the right things than to live righteously.
And so I’ve found that sometimes we start feeling like a sage on a stage as we speak of the holy. We like the sound of our own voice and fail to listen to others. This is true whether we be a pastor or a lay person. But I wonder if God doesn’t care so much about our God talk. About my God talk.
I think he would much rather I speak less (or in my case, write less) and live more like Jesus.
It reminds me of those of us who have a bunch of books on our shelves that we’ve never read. The book shelves look impressive. But really, it’s all show. It’s the same with us. We can hold court, speaking of heaven and earth with all the theological precision of a trained theologian, the beauty of poet and sensitivities of the best pastor, but if we are not becoming incrementally that which we extol, we are of all people the most deceived.
We talk about God yet live like the devil. I’ve seen a lot of that lately. A lot. Non-Christians can spot a phony a mile away. Why can’t we? They can also spot someone who is genuine.
I realize that I am not immune to this most terrible of sins. I think it’s the worst kind of sin sickness to have: being full of God-talk but living a God-less life. Satan is good at this.
Maybe we should embrace silence. In embracing silence we will be better able to discern how much of all this is us actually living like Jesus and how much of all of this is us just talking a big game.
O Lord, have mercy on me!