There are a lot of people out there who live in “dream land.” They live in an ideal world where everything they say sounds wonderful and impressive, but it’s mostly nonsense. They act in ways that are superficial that again, look impressive at first glance, but further study reveals it’s a lot of hot air.
I don’t know if you’ve been around these people or not. Maybe you’re surrounded by them, but they have you so snowed, you can’t see the smudges and scars because of the thick, shiny topcoat.
If you look a little closer, you’ll see that they’re full of grandiose plans and promises that they rarely deliver on. Perhaps they have the best of intentions, but life (or whatever excuse you want to use) gets in the way, and their talk doesn’t quite measure up to their walk.
Years ago I had a friend who was always talking about making changes in her life. She was always pontificating about the new programs, disciplines, or behaviors she was going to put in place. Seeing all these “aspirations” without any action, a wise older woman came up to her one day and said, “You’re always saying you’re going to make all these big changes in your life, but you never act on them.” Then she said a phrase that I have not forgotten since. She said, “Don’t just talk about it…be about it!”
You see, talking and doing are two completely different things. And somehow, somewhere we’ve forgotten this truth.
After having several friends of mine over the years suggest we go have coffee or lunch, promise me they’d call me, and then never follow through, I made a vow to myself that I’d never do that to anyone else. I simply would not say it if I did not mean it. Even though the gesture sounds sincere and makes me look good, I promised myself I wouldn’t do it if I couldn’t deliver it.
In 1 John 3:18-19, John writes these simple but profound words, “My dear children, let’s not just talk about love; let’s practice real love. This is the only way we’ll know we’re living truly, living in God’s reality” (MSG).
Read that again.
Isn’t living in God’s reality what we’re supposed to be about? And isn’t real love what we’re supposed to be doing?
I’ve come to the conclusion that it’s far easier to talk then to act. But, talking without acting keeps us in dream land. It keeps us living in our own ideal world where we want to impress, we want to stand out. We don’t want people to see our smudges and scrapes. We only want them to see our thick, shiny topcoat.
Friends, let’s not just talk about love…let’s practice real love. Let’s carry out genuine acts of love for others. Let’s put aside pretense and idealism. Let’s exchange the hot air for a cup of cold water in His name. And in the process, we’ll slowly but surely tap into true living—true living, not caught up in ourselves, but caught up in an amazing, loving, forgiving, and faithful God.