Words or Actions?

James 2:16

…and one of you says to them, “Depart in peace, be warmed and filled,” but you do not give them the things which are needed for the body, what does it profit?

I have a story to tell you. It’s true.  It happened many years ago, before the ice age.  When I was in high school.

My best friend in high school, Rick, was a musical prodigy. He sang in the Berkshire boy choir, was hand-selected by Leonard Bernstein to sing the altar boy solo in the production of Mass, which opened the Kennedy Center, has perfect pitch down to quarter tones, and gives no one a clue as to just all of the very enviable things he has accomplished in his music career.

That’s how, in high school, he attracted the attention of a lady in her early thirties to be a duo with her. They billed themselves as Sugar and Spice, both singing, Jenny her on guitar, and Rick on piano.  I went to the restaurant and lounge they played at every weekend.  We all became good friends.

Sugar & Spice eventually had to break up when Rick decided to leave town and attend the Interlochen arts academy in Michigan. Jenny moved on as well.

Rick and I have remained close to this day. I’d say about 15 years ago Jenny came back to town to visit family, and we all met up again.  It was great to see her again.  In the intervening years, she had become a Christian, giving her life to Jesus.

She looked at me after sharing this and asked me a question.

“Jeff, have you been a Christian since I first knew you?” I told her I have.

“I knew it!” She said.  “There was always something different about you that I just couldn’t put my finger on.  That was it.”

At this point you might be thinking how good that made me feel, that someone saw my “light shine.” And it did for just seconds, because she had one more question.

“Why didn’t you ever say anything?”

Not a proud moment for me by any stretch.

Some people just preach, thinking that a great witness or a great sermon will win the day. Others – like me in this story – think that living their life as Godly as possible is their witness.

Doing just one of those might get you somewhere, but I think we be shocked at just how ineffective they are when done singly.

To put it another way, you need to walk it and talk it!

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