It is very easy for all us to talk the talk, but when it comes to walking the walk, that is a completely different story. We have all heard sayings like, “talk is cheap,” or “they really talk a good game, but none of us want to put ourselves in that category. A question all of us need to ask ourselves is, do we belong in that category?
It’s in the Little Things
Deciding whether or not we walk the walk is usually found in the little things. Little things are those day in and day out things that represent the everyday part of life. Sometimes we “think” it is easier to walk the walk in the bigger things of life, but the little things are usually where we get tripped up. Let’s look at an example to give us an idea of what I am talking about.
Complaining and Arguing
Philippians 2: 14-15 – Do everything without grumbling or arguing, so that you may be blameless and pure, “children of God without fault in a warped and crooked generation.” Then you shine among them like stars in the sky
So often today, we want to complain (or grumble) and argue with other people. Instead of shining like stars, we blend right in with everyone else. The verses we just looked at told us to do “everything” without complaining or arguing. So, when we know this, but continue complaining about people or things, and argue with people, we simply are not walking the walk. And just to be clear, rationalizing complaining or arguing in the name of God is simply that, a rationalization.
Fights and Quarrels
James 4:1 – What causes fights and quarrels among you? Don’t they come from your desires that battle within you?
How often do we find ourselves fighting and quarreling with other people? Unfortunately, we find ourselves doing this quite often. Why do we fight and quarrel with other people? We want to try and explain this away with motives that sound pure. However, we can’t get around the fact that our own selfish desires are at the core of these fights and quarrels. Once again, when we know this, but continue fighting and quarreling with other people, we are just talking the talk.
Planks in Our Eye, Specks in Others
Matthew 7: 3-5 – Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, Let me take the speck out of your eye, when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.
Focus on Your Improvement
We are familiar with these verses, but we don’t take them to heart. These verses are basically telling us to quit paying attention to what everyone else is doing wrong and actually realize that we do these things wrong as well. Then, once we realize we are not perfect, focus on ourselves and what we are doing wrong, so that we can correct it. When we focus on ourselves and what we need to work on, we will find that we don’t have time to keep up with what everyone else needs to work on.
What is an example of what this might look like in real life? Let’s take divorce as an example. Those who are married tend to look at those who are divorced with a bit of “let me take the speck out of your eye” mentality. But, just because you may still be married, does not mean you are fulfilling God’s desire for marriage. Remember these verses?
Matthew 5: 21-22; 27-28
You have heard that it was said to the people long ago, You shall not murder, and anyone who murders will be subject to judgement. But I tell you that anyone who is angry with a brother or sister will be subject to judgement. You have heard it said, You shall not commit adultery. But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart.
So, if getting angry with someone is the same as murder in God’s eyes and looking at someone in a manner that you shouldn’t is the same as adultery in God’s eyes, then simply existing together and going through the motions of a real relationship is the same as being divorced in God’s eyes.
This is just one example; however, we could play different scenarios out over and over and over again showing the same thing. The point of all this is, if we let God show us, we all have multiple planks in our own eye and we can spend the rest of our life working on our own issues to try and be the best version of ourselves that God would have us to be. When we realize this, we understand we never have time to look at the speck in someone else’s eye. When we are focused on what other people are doing wrong, instead of what we should be doing, we are not walking the walk.
Life is Not a Competition
We like to focus on what other people are doing wrong because in some twisted way it makes us feel better about ourselves. We should feel good about ourselves just because we are children of God, not because we have a need to compare ourselves to other human beings, who are also children of God.
We act as if life is a competition with other people. Humanity has set life up this way, but God does not view life this way. Maybe that’s why God gave humans the idea for golf. Golf is a sport where you are truly competing against yourself. How well you play, or don’t play is totally dependent on you. You don’t rely on anyone to pass the ball to you, or block for you, your performance is solely dependent on you.
This desire for comparison stems from a desire to be “better” than someone else. Why can’t we just want to be the best we can for God? Where we only compete against ourselves in trying to be better versions of ourselves, day by day. This desire to be “better” than someone else comes as a form of boasting. There is only one time it is okay for us to boast.
2 Corinthians 10: 17-18 – But, Let the one who boasts boast in the Lord. For it is not the one who commends himself who is approved, but the one whom the Lord commends.
Our boasting should only be about lifting God up, not lifting ourselves up. Comparing ourselves to someone else and pointing out what they are doing wrong is only about trying to commend ourselves. This is not what God wants from us. Instead of comparing ourselves to other people, God want us to love God, love others, do to others as we want them to do to us, and in humility consider others better than ourselves. This is what walking the walk looks like.
What About You?
So, what about you? Are you walking the walk, or just talking the talk? Don’t be fooled into thinking walking the walk is about keeping the rules, because it is not. Walking the walk is found in relationship, both with God and with others. Let’s start today walking the walk and not just talking the talk.