Grassroots Commentary

Actions Must Match Words

Rona Swanson · Aug. 25, 2014

“People may hear your words, but they feel your attitude.”– John Maxwell, American writer, speaker and pastor

Our dog Joey does not speak English, but he sure can read people. He is alert to every cue and responds accurately to the situation. He can “read” whether someone is happy, sad, excited, or disappointed. He is in tune with their voice and body language, but even deeper, he can sense their emotions. 
As human beings, we are gifted with those skills as well, but we have been trained to gloss them over, ignore clear signals, and just tolerate everyone and everything. You know and I know, that just does not work…..and it leads us into dishonest rejection of what our senses are screaming at us. We form opinions and base our loyalties and devotion on fact, not a false idea of universal acceptance.

To a certain degree, we all attempt to present a lovelier image of ourselves to the world. That is a good thing because no one would want to see us in our jammies with our bedhead, stumbling through the day.

The difficulty arises when our words and our actions do not jibe. That is where the issue of integrity comes to bear.

The root word for diabolic is to fragment, break apart. Its polar opposite is integrity – which is like the workings of a clock – intricate symmetry and order.

Diabolic destruction chips apart the rhetoric from the reality, destroying trust and credibility along the way. It is like a demolition crew arriving with sledge hammers and wrecking balls.

Integrity binds all of the moving parts together in a symphony of order and masterful design. It requires forethought and clear intention and well-designed artistry.

May our words match our attitudes.

May we say what we mean and mean what we say.

May our lives become saturated in symmetry and order, instead of fragmented chaos.

Trust is lost or won in these arenas.

If you must use words, make sure they match your attitude and actions. Think of your words as dice thrown out on a table. They are designating the next move. If you disregard the order, you will have “cheated” the game. Life is much too serious and the stakes are far too high to cheat our way through.

Matthew 5:34-37, The Message (MSG); Empty Promises: “And don’t say anything you don’t mean. This counsel is embedded deep in our traditions. You only make things worse when you lay down a smoke screen of pious talk, saying, ‘I’ll pray for you,’ and never doing it, or saying, ‘God be with you,’ and not meaning it. You don’t make your words true by embellishing them with religious lace. In making your speech sound more religious, it becomes less true. Just say ‘yes’ and ‘no.’ When you manipulate words to get your own way, you go wrong.”

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