Your life speaks louder than words.
Today, I (Nick) want to talk a little about what it means to let your actions speak louder than your words.
Many of you have probably heard the phrase “preach the gospel at all times and when necessary use words.” You know, I don’t know who originally said that, and I don’t want to burst their bubble, I don’t necessarily think it’s accurate biblically.
I’m not so sure that actions speak louder than words, it’s more like actions prove your words. Therefore our LIFE speaks louder than words. And so, as believers, w’e’re called to live our lives in a certain way; we’re also called to speak in a certain way.
The first thing that we’ll look at proves that our words are of utmost importance.
“But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you. And you will be my witnesses, telling people about me everywhere — in Jerusalem, throughout Judea, in Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” Acts 1:8
When you open your Bible to the book of Acts, there’s so much depth in that very first part, but one of the really important things in that passage of scripture is, the author, Luke’s use of the word ‘witnesses’ in Acts 1:8.
The word witness means to testify or give evidence of someone or something. It’s the same word you would use if you got called as a witness to a trial.
You would be called to a courtroom to testify or tell the truth.
So, in the same way, what he is saying is that you will become the truth-tellers about Jesus. Not just the truth-livers. Not just the ones that behave in a certain way.
Your life speaks louder than words means you can live your life to tell others about Jesus in actions AND words.
Now, what does that mean for our actions? I think that it is really important for us to acknowledge that there are a lot of people in the world that say certain things, but the way that they live or the things that they do don’t back up what they say.
In Matthew, chapter 5, we know this passage as the sermon on the mount, Jesus is preaching his first recorded sermon, and He goes all over the spectrum in terms of the way we are to live.
He addresses how we treat people, how we treat ourselves, how we view worry; there is so much in this passage. I want to focus on this verse specifically:
“You are the salt of the earth. But what good is salt if it has lost its flavor? Can you make it salty again? It will be thrown out and trampled underfoot as worthless.” Matthew 5:13
First of all, before I go any further, I want y’all to understand something. Salt had multiple uses back in those days, it was very valuable, it was actually used as a form of currency.
You’ve heard the phrase “ that person isn’t worth their weight in salt,” that comes from the fact that it was used as currency.
Think about words like salinate, salt, sal; that is where we get our word salary from. It’s from salt.
So when He says ‘if the salt has lost its taste, it’s not good for anything’ He is referring to the fact that nobody would want salt as their payment for something if it was no good anymore.
When He says you are the salt of the earth, it means you are the value of the earth.
Think about that, God has called us the value of the earth. He continues in verse 14:
“You are the light of the world — like a city on a hilltop that cannot be hidden. No one lights a lamp and then puts it under a basket. Instead, a lamp is placed on a stand, where it gives light. to everyone in the house.” Matthew 5:14-15
He is saying that we are the light of the world, we should live in a way that people can see our light.
Don’t hide the Light that is in you.
Don’t hide what God has done for you, what He wants you to express to other people, and how it can change their life.
Your life speaks louder than words. Live it on purpose.
The light in us is not meant to be hidden, the light is meant to be put on a stand and give light to the world.
Your job, my job, our job as a church, as believers, as brothers and sisters, whether it’s individually or collectively, it’s to give light to the world. What does that look like?
Man, it can look like a lot of different things, but it starts with how we treat each other and those around us. So I want you to understand that you are called with a purpose to be a light.
Now what that means for you specifically, and how you are a light, I can’t answer that. I’m still looking for that in my own life.
He finishes up in verse 16:
“In the same way, let your good deeds shine out for all to see, so that everyone will praise your Heavenly Father.” Matthew 5:16
Now I want you think about that for a minute. If our actions back up what we say, if they are truly vital to prove what we say we believe, then that verse makes perfect sense. It says let your light shine for all to see.
That means our life, our actions, the way that we live, should shine before people so that they can see our good works. It’s not just the words that you say but the things that you do that matter.
Then check out what it says, it says that they will give glory to our Heavenly Father.
Do you know that the way you live and the actions that you do, when they back up the faith that you say that you have and the God that you say you believe in, they actually cause other people to point back to God?
That gives glory to God and shows the face of Jesus to the rest of the world.
Everything that we say and do, it all intertwines with this mentality of loving fast and living slow.
Those are two very actionable things that we can do. To love fast means to take action when it comes to loving people, loving people as a reflex, as a response.
Not to what they have done, but to who they are, and that is a person who is created in the image of God.
It doesn’t matter if they are a guy or a girl, white, black, hispanic, or asian, poor or rich, any kind of lifestyle; our job is to love fast.
And then to live slow is also an actionable phrase. It doesn’t meant that you aren’t busy at times or that you aren’t doing things that sometimes are stressful. It means that you take time in the moments that you have to see and appreciate what God is doing, to look for beauty.
An example of how your life speaks louder than words
The other night I was outside walking around with all three of the kids. Laura had run to the store, and we were outside and, honestly, I just wanted to go inside. I had been at work all day and I was tired.
We were across the street from our house, there’s a little church over there, we were riding bikes in the parking lot, and I looked up and there was this unbelievable sunset.
I got a couple pictures of it, and then I texted Laura and told her to go to the water and look at the sunset (see above picture).
Because in that moment, I was so thankful that I had not made the kids go inside before I got to see that sunset. I knew that the kids needed to be outside. I knew that was what was best for our family.
But it took God letting me see the beauty of that sunset to slow down and understand. This is more important. Not because of the sunset, that was just icing on the cake, but it was just being present with my kids, letting them enjoy that time.
I want to encourage you to love fast, to live slow, and to let your actions prove your words.