WHAT DO YOUR ACTIONS SAY ABOUT WHO YOU ARE? In an article recently written for a friend's (Navjot) blog, I posed the question; "How is a Christian supposed to live and act and speak?", and suggested in answer to that, that a firm foundational beginning was LOVE, as exampled by the life of Jesus Christ. This can be looked at further...Love as an action, as a basis and motivation for all we do. Love for God, love for Jesus, love for others, and for ourselves. It's a beautiful and rewarding place to begin and continues as the perfect fuel source for all our actions. But how detrimental are the situations where the actions fail to measure up to the words? We all know of people who have been turned off church and 'religion' (and sometimes God, sadly) by a Christian not walking the walk. I was speaking to a man today about that very thing. People wear crosses around their necks, have the Jesus fish on their car and ritually attend church every Sunday, and on the surface the first thought is CHRISTIAN. But with mediums like Facebook and Twitter, and any number of other platforms for fraud, all of us are aware, surely, of how easy it is to fabricate a truth in a way so believable it may never be revealed. What is spoken of as truth can be as far from that as possible, limited only by one's creative imagination and another's naivety. For many years I was a Character Writer. For those of you who don't know, it's much like Role Playing, only on paper. Each writer assumes a fictional identity of their own creation and a correspondence is begun. The storyline builds and is reliant on the imaginational input of another writer. I did this form of writing with a girl (Jennifer) from Texas for about three years. For the first six months of this writing journey all I knew her as was a terminally ill French woman from a year somewhere in the 1800's, and Jennifer knew me only as a 25yr old biker who died in 1955. Now, in this case the fiction was evident. But there are many times in real life when it is not! If I was to stand before you wearing a Karate Gi, cinched at the waist by a black belt would you presume I was a martial arts master? If I had a tennis racket and sweat bands would I pass as mixed doubles partner to Rafael Nadal? (I wish!!!) Holding a Gibson guitar, even with Phil Collen or Santana in tow, wouldn't make me a guitar player any more than wielding a machete or crossbow would make me a weaponry expert. A potential maniac perhaps! I think I'd be in a world of trouble if any of these was how I presented myself, and then I had to prove it with actions! Words are all well and good, sweet to the ear even, but they amount to little more than lip-service when they come without the backing of our actions. Often enough in the past I have been told (and fooled by) the things I wanted to hear. Well articulated words that sounded so good at the time, but which fell to nothing when it came time to back them up. How many of us, honestly, have encountered Christians even, who, based on their words and Sunday activities alone have led us to believe wrongly in the depth of their Christian walk? When I was newly returned to the fold of the church, about ten years ago, I encountered a situation where I saw a side of a Christian man outside the walls of the church building that, at the time, was disillusioning to this 'new Christian'. To this day I am thankful I have a mother I can go to for right Spiritual guiding. It can be confusing, even to seasoned Christians, to know what is right and wrong behaviour for Christians. Some things are obviously wrong, like stealing, murder, adultery. What about the fine-lines? I know the well known question 'What Would Jesus Do?' (WWJD) has seen many quandaries more easily answered for me. Would Jesus sit and watch that movie with me? Would Jesus listen to that song? Would Jesus blow off Bible study because the tennis was on? At the 2008 Hillsong Colour Conference in Sydney, Priscilla Shirer used a similar thought process. Would we do things differently if we knew Jesus was right there with us? Well, He is, you know. Would we rethink taking just one bottle of soft drink from work without paying? Or taking ten minutes more on our lunch break than we know we should? If I'm telling people I'm a Christian, they are not going to believe me if I then say it's all right to gossip about someone from church or craft group? It's not all right! And even if we're convincing them and ourselves, we are NOT convincing God! So, in our Christian walk, by way of our desire to be honouring and obedient to our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, let's walk as He did. Let's love like He does. Let's be a truthful and unquestionable example to those God places in our path. Because as one statement I recently heard reveals, WE may be the only BIBLE that person ever sees. Hugs ~ Jeanne.