All success, all human achievement, all human progress depend on one very simple process: from words to action. This principle is enshrined in countless sayings. For example:
“Actions speak louder than words”
“Words are cheap, action is what counts”
“Promises, promises, broken promises politics”
“Walk your talk.”
We’ve all heard of these well-known sayings. The message is the same: just do what you say you’ll do. Let’s take a few well-known examples.
Very often we see the Nations of the world agreeing Peace agreements: inspiring words. Unfortunately the peace often collapses, as the agreed actions simply don’t happen.
We witness the same contradiction in many committee meetings. There is much talk, and endless discussions, but few decisions.
Or take the example of religion. Why are there so many people put off religion? If we ask them, we discover that hypocrisy is one of the biggest criticisms. Religious Hypocrisy: saying one thing, but doing another.
“They go to church every Sunday, and think that makes them good Christians. Well, I know many of them, and they don’t live like Christians at all.”
Yet again, fine words spoken to God on Sunday, but not actually carried out in the rest of the week.
Another deeply personal example: Christian priests! I feel ashamed to admit that I’m a retired Catholic priest. The Church I love has been crucified by pedophile priests. The very ones, who should live out their beliefs and words, have wallowed in the mud of sin. But that’s not the half of it!
What is ten times worse: the cover-up by Church authorities. Finally compelled to own up to their abominable actions, they have made all kinds of promises.
Again we are forced to ask: will the Church follow up on their fine words? Many feel there has been very little real action so far. We witness rampant hypocrisy: yet again, fine words, but horrible actions, cover-up, authorities in denial.
Jesus’ harshest criticisms were for hypocrites. He detested hypocrisy, This is what we read in Matthew 23:27-28:
“Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You are like whitewashed tombs, which look beautiful on the outside but on the inside are full of the bones of the dead and everything unclean. In the same way, on the outside you appear to people as righteous, but on the inside you are full of hypocrisy and wickedness.”
Another text: “Not everyone who says Lord, Lord, will enter Heaven, but he who does the Will of My Father.”
We read in Mark 7:6: Jesus replied, Isaiah was right when he prophesied about you hypocrites; as it is written: These people honour me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me.
Yes, action is what counts, not just promises, nice words and a heart full of hypocrisy.
As John Maxwell says in today’s quote: “Actions are remembered long after words are forgotten.”
What’s your own experience? Perhaps you’d care to leave a comment below. Thank you.