I do not hide Your righteousness in my heart; I speak of Your faithfulness and Your saving help. I do no conceal Your love and Your faithfulness from the great assembly. Psalm 40:10
I used to think that proclaiming the Good News meant standing on a soap box, on a corner, shouting out about God’s love and faithfulness. That really isn’t who I am, nor is it in my skillset to proclaim, off the cuff, about God’s magnificence.
I used my shortcoming as the excuse for why it wasn’t up to me to speak publicly about God’s goodness. Instead, as a doer, I joined the missions. That’s when everything changed.
When I joined Franciscan Mission Service (FMS), it was to go to Guatemala and do what I could to make the world a better place. However, while learning about St. Francis during my training, my way of thinking was turned completely upside down.
St. Francis is famous for saying: “Proclaim the Gospel. Use words when necessary.” When I heard that statement, the notion that our actions speak louder than words moved from my head to my heart, helping me understand it in a whole new way.
If I say I believe in God and strive to live for Him, yet gossip about my neighbor, or never open my purse for the beggar on the street, guess which message people are going to hear?
If I tell my kids to follow the Ten Commandments, yet I’m addicted to my iPhone to the point of raising it up as in idol, what lesson do I really teach my kids?
If I claim to walk in Jesus’ footsteps, yet cut people off on the highway, in line at the grocery store, or in conversation so I can be heard, what path am I really walking on?
We all proclaim a message every day with how we behave. Who is our great assembly that we proclaim it to? What is it that we’re really telling them?
Questions for Reflection:
- Do I recognize that my actions speak louder than words?
- What do I want my actions to say?
- Am I succeeding in proclaiming that message?