Do Simple and Basic Actions Speak Louder than Words?
What would a simple and basic life look like? In our complicated world today, these words sound quite inviting. We often hear phrases like, “return to the basics” or “living simply.” But these words can mean a variety of things depending on your definition of both simple and basic. For some, it conjures up thoughts of living a life with only the essentials without the frills while for others it might mean just paring down the excess, but still living comfortably. However, we should look beyond the “things” of life when examining the words, simple and basic. We need to look to the root of human relationships and leave the tangible behind. Simple and basic means just loving one another with whatever means we can love with as we demonstrate the love of Christ through our actions.
It often seems that our world today is always looking to blame someone else for our problems as it must be someone’s “fault” that things aren’t going well. So, a lot of talks are given to the blame game with little action to solve the problem. It is not words and wisdom though that the world needs to hear, instead, they need to see, the simple and basic demonstration of love that is only seen through the Holy Spirit and His power. It is time to ask the hard and challenging question of “Where is the love?”
The State of the World: Who’s to Blame?
The church isn’t the blame for the dark state of the world today, but we should question if our light is showing. Reformed theologian, John Stott, asks some challenging words of the church today as the world sees growing dishonesty, corruption, immorality, violence, and the diminishing respect for human life. When people want to lay blame and cry out for who’s at fault, he puts it this way. “If the house is dark at night, there is no sense in blaming the house. It is simply what happens when the sun goes down. The question to ask is, ‘Where’s the light?’ If meat spoils, there’s no sense in blaming the meat. It is simply what happens when bacteria breed unchecked. The question to ask is, ‘Where’s the salt?’ And if society is corrupt like a dark night or stinking fish, there’s no sense in blaming society. It is what happens when fallen human society is left to itself and human evil is unrestrained and unchecked. The question to ask is, ‘Where’s the church?’”
The world doesn’t need to hear the words of the church before they see the action. Francis of Assisi said, “It is no use walking anywhere to preach unless our walking is our preaching.” This is where the Apostle Paul stands in his message to the Corinthians as he strived to live his life as an example for them. He knew it was important that more than words and knowledge, he needed to be a living demonstration of love. If going forth to make disciples is the mission of the church, then it is time to figure out how to do so more effectively and efficiently, not so the church can survive but because that is what Christ calls us to do.
What the World Needs Instead of Words
It is important that the church see all people everywhere, not just the people inside the walls of the church, but those around us as we work and worship. Seeing the hurting and the hungry, the distracted and the cynical, the searchers and those that don’t know there’s anything to search for. Furthermore, it is important that we offer them nothing more than the love of Jesus Christ, not information about this Christ, though there are a story and knowledge to share. And we are not showing them how to join or be a part of the church, though there is a huge family that stands ready to help them be part of the whole. No, what the church needs to show the world is just what Paul said, nothing but ourselves and the Christ that dwells inside of each of us.
The world needs to see our actions as we need to watch our language. Sharing Christ doesn’t lead with the language of faith it begins with a relationship and demonstration of the simple and basic love of Christ. Telling someone about the Bible doesn’t go very far with a hearer that doesn’t accept the authority of such, but the Bible becomes evident through the simple and basic actions of demonstrating nothing more than Jesus.
The Real Call is Simple and Basic Love
True disciples of Christ who know nothing, but Christ can easily demonstrate what God is doing in their lives every day. This is the real call of making disciples for the transformation of the world. It is not the mission of the church to overwhelm the world with rhetoric about the triune God, but through the simple and basic demonstration of Christ’s love through our actions, the deeper understanding of a triune God makes its way to the surface. This is the message of wisdom that Paul speaks to the Corinthians and it is the message that must be spoken to the world today.
For I decided that while I was with you, I would forget everything except Jesus Christ, the one who was crucified. 1 Corinthians 2:2 (NLT)1 Corinthians 2:2 (NLT)
Experiencing Love is Better than Hearing Words
Sharing the simple and basic message of Jesus Christ by allowing the Holy Spirit to guide our actions and then our words is the way to share the Good News with others. It is the method of meeting needs while sowing seeds. People don’t hear when their life is filled with overwhelming problems, but as we help those around us our actions show others, Christ, for it is then they can hear our words.
Our world is sorely in need of Christ’s love and through our demonstration, the world can see the difference the Holy Spirit makes in our lives every day. For if the Apostle Paul is right, then if we give people information about Christ before helping them, we are going about making disciples in the wrong way. The significance of the love of Christ is lost when we reduce His love to merely information to pass on or put in a pamphlet to hand out. For what the world needs now, is love, the sweet love of Jesus.
Won’t you be challenged to demonstrate the simple and basic love of Christ to those you meet in your world? Seal your conviction in remembering that Christ cared for the needs of all the people. Find your motivation in knowing that Christ cares for you personally and it is through His demonstration of love that you should do likewise. Surround yourself in the comfort of knowing that Christ loves you and the world and there is enough of Him for all.
Love in Christ,
For years I thought my assignment or the Church’s assignment was to articulate the Gospel and nothing more. Now I believe that if we don’t support the verbal expression of the Gospel with physical demonstration of compassion, we are not imitating Jesus.Max Lucado
What are Your Thoughts?
Do you struggle with the sharing of your faith? Have you considered that the best way to share the gospel is through the simple and basic demonstration of Christ’s love? Share your thoughts on how you have witnessed the making of disciples through the demonstration of Christ’s simple love.