Words Without Deeds: The Vice of Religion

It would be a convenient arrangement were we so constituted that we could not talk better than we live. For reasons known to God, however, there seems to be no necessary connection between our speaking and our doing; and here ies one of the deadliest snares in the religious lie I am afraid we modern Christians are long on talk and short on conduct. We use the language of power but our deeds are the deeds of weakness.

I love reading ANYTHING by A. W. Tozer: he challenges me with the Word of God applied to my life. In his book, “Born After Midnight,” the above opening paragraph is the beginning of a few pertinent thoughts I want to share from the short chapter on Words Without Deeds: The Vice of Religion. Continuing:

Our Lord and His apostles were LONG on deeds. The Gospels depict a Man walking in power, who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil (Acts 10.38). The moral relation between words and deeds appears quite plainly in the life and teachings of Christ. He DID before He spoke, and the doing gave validity to the speaking.

Luke wrote of “all that Jesus began both to do and to tech,” and I am sure that the order expressed there is NOT accidental. In the Sermon on the Mount, Christ placed doing before teaching: “Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so…” (Matt. 5.19)

Unquestionable there is not another institution in the world that talks as much and does as little as the church. Any factory that required as much raw material for so small a finished product would go bankrupt in six months…

We settle for words in religion because deeds are too costly. It is easier to pray, “Lord help me to carry my cross daily” than to PICK UP THE CROSS AND CARRY IT, but since the mere request for help to do something we do not actually intend to do has a certain degree of religious comfort, we are content with repetition of the words.

CHALLENGE: How do we escape the snare of words without deeds? It is simple, though not easy. First, let us say nothing we do not mean. Break the habit of conventional religious chatter. Speak only as we are ready to take the consequences. Believe God’s promises and obey His commandments. Practice the truth and we may with propriety speak the truth. Deeds give body to words. As we do acts of power our words will take on authority and a new sense of reality will fill our hearts.