“Sure, I’d love to help!” Not really, but I don’t want to sound rude.
“Yes, I have plenty of time to work on that last-minute project!” I’m going to have to work overtime now because I’m swamped. Ugh.
“I’m so sorry I hurt your feelings.” Why are you so thin skinned?
“I’m sorry you’re going through a hard time.” Suck it up, buttercup, like the rest of us.
How often do we say things we don’t really mean? It’s easy to give lip service to many people and many things without meaning it.
But in Romans 10, Paul makes clear that we cannot just give lip service to God. We’ve got to believe with our hearts. We’ve got to put hands and feet on our words.
If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved.Romans 10:9-10 ESV
So, what does it actually look like to not only say it, but also to believe it? It looks a lot like evangelizing those around us. Not all Christians are called to go overseas as missionaries, but we are all called to tell those around us about the Gospel. Here’s what the apostle Paul has to say about those who spread the Good News of Jesus Christ:
As it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news!”Romans 10:15 ESV
Truly believing looks a lot like the Christians in the book of James, who are to be doers of the Word and not hearers only. We need to bridle our tongues and not show partiality as we do good works (James 2-3).
But someone will say, “You have faith, and I have works.” Show me your faith without your works, and I will show you my faith by my works.James 2:18 ESV
Sincere belief also looks a lot like the fruit of the Spirit. A dead plant does not produce flowers. A dead tree does not produce fruit. Likewise, someone who has not received the new life that is a result of salvation may try to sound like a Christian but will not have the heart of a believer. Our walk should match our talk.
So when our walk matches our talk, we can truly sing, like the old chorus, How beautiful the hands … and feet of the body of Christ. We then become like a radiant bride, waiting for our Savior, the bridegroom.
It’s not always easy, but we have been given—by the bridegroom Himself—all the help we need to match our hearts with our mouths.
Scriptures for Reflection:
- Romans 10 (get the whole context)
- Galatians 5:22-23
- Colossians 3:1-4
- James 2:14-24
Questions for Reflection:
- Have you ever said something you didn’t mean? What was the result?
- Who can you talk to about the Gospel this week?
- How can you cultivate the fruit of the Spirit this week? Choose one to focus on.
- How can you tangibly help someone in need this week?
**This article also appears on the Beyond Sunday Blog.**