This week I am reading in 1 Corinthians. The Corinthians were dividing amongst themselves as some were following Paul and others Apollos or Peter. Paul reprimanded them in Chapter 3 telling them that "neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything, but only God, who makes things grow." Basically telling them there are no superstars only different members of the team, each with their own roles. No one person is above another - we should be exalting only God.
In Chapter 4 he goes on to tell the Corinthians the only foundation of the church is Christ - not himself or Apollos or Peter. He is challenging church leaders to have sound preaching and teaching. He tells the Corinthians to think of him as a servant of Christ not a leader of a faction. Paul warns them not to be come attached to leaders as this will cause more division in the church. He is saying that no preacher has more status than another. They speak and are leading only because of what God gifted them to do.
But Verses 18-20 hit the nail on the head: "Some of you have become arrogant, as if I were not coming to you. But I will come to you very soon, if the Lord is willing, and then I will find out not only how these arrogant people are talking but what power they have. For the kingdom of God is not a matter of talk but of power. What do you prefer? Shall I come to you with a whip or with a gentle spirit?" I love the study notes for these verses: Some people talk a lot about faith, but that’s all it is – talk. They know all the right words to say, but their lives don’t reflect God’s power. Paul says that the kingdom of God is to be lived, not just discussed. There is a big difference in knowing the right words and living them out. Don’t be content to have the right answers about Christ. Let your life show that God’s power is really working on you.
How often do we as Christians "Talk the Talk" but we don't "Walk the Talk"? I admit I have done this, because it easy to do so. Walking what we say we believe can be hard and uncomfortable. But God never promised that we would have it easy here on earth, He promised He would walk with us through it all if we would allow Him too. Doesn't that amaze you? If we CHOOSE to ALLOW Him! He will not push himself upon us. He is too awesome and loving to do that. This in itself boggles my mind.
When we aren't Walking the Talk, we can be viewed as hypocritical and cause those who are non-believers to have more reason NOT to want to know about the wonderful God we serve. My prayer is that God would convict me before I even act on not Walking the Talk.
We may be the only Jesus some people see and I surely don't want anyone to think of my Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer as hypocritical! We need to preach the gospel at all times and when necessary use words!