"Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need." (Hebrews 4:16)

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Does Your Walk Talk?

"Your walk walks and your talk talks, but your walk talks more than your talk talks."  Rev. Art Crisco

This is a saying I grew up hearing almost every week in our youth group from our Youth Director, Mrs. Godbey (love you Mrs. Godbey!!).
It just goes to show that kids really do listen to everything adults say, and most of it tends to stick. But why this saying? What made this piece of knowledge stick with me all these years?... and most likely it stuck with the rest of my youth group family? Well, maybe because it makes sense!

I am not shy about letting others know I am a Christian, but is it apparent that I am a Christian even if I never have the opportunity to tell them? Anyone can talk a good talk. {How do you think most of the politicians in this country get elected?} The question is, do you follow through on what you say? Do you walk the talk? Jesus Christ even spoke about this topic in Matthew 23. Often titled the Seven Woes, it was directed toward the "teachers of the law and Pharisees", but I believe it can be applied in our lives today. In verse 3 He says, "So you must obey them (the Pharisees) and do everything they tell you. But do not do what they do, for they do not practice what they preach." In verse 28 He states how the Pharisees "...on the outside appear to people as righteous but on the inside you (the Pharisees) are full of hypocrisy and wickedness." Christ numerously calls the Pharisees in this passage hypocrites and blind guides, and later He calls them snakes - "a brood of vipers" (verse 33). By definition a hypocrite is "one who feigns some desirable or publicly approved attitude, especially one whose private life, opinions, or statements belie his or her public statements" (Dictionary.com). See, the Pharisees just talked the talk, they wanted to be exalted in their positions, but Jesus called them out! The Pharisees only "talked the talk". Are you a "Pharisee" - a hypocrite? Or do you actually practice what you preach?

Do you walk your talk...or just talk your talk? Unfortunately, most of us don't walk our talk...or, at least not all the time.

Teenagers (all children) are so observant of the actions, and reactions, that the adults around them use on a daily basis. That's how children learn. We {adults} are their role-models.

And as a Christian, I am to be an example of Christ to them. He is my role-model. He definitely walked the talk in all areas of life - and death. 
What are the children in your life learning from you?

So I ask myself, "Does my walk talk more than my talk talks"? As a teacher I am not just an Educator of Academia, I am also a role-model. What kind of role-model am I? Am I a positive example? As a Christian I should hope to be. Here's the possible conundrum, I must be a positive role-model in actions alone. The First Amendment of the Constitution gives us the separation of Church and State that we public school teachers must adhere to if we wish to keep our jobs. The Establishment Clause within infers that we are not to influence our students in any way toward their personal {religious} beliefs by invoking our personal {religious} preferences on them. However, I must wonder... if I live as Christ would have me live, my actions, words and emotions should speak for themselves and be Christ-centered...without ever uttering a word of my "religious preference". Right? The way I treat my students and the re pore I have with them should exude a Christ-like behavior. My walk should be shouting my Christian beliefs without me speaking a word. And in return, I can (try my best to) be that positive role-model for my students, or anyone I come in contact with during the course of a day. Will I stumble in my actions? Yes, of course I will. I am human after all...I have my good days and bad days. But how I conduct myself in the aftermath to that stumble is what my students, and others, will remember most...

No matter our profession, we as Christians must strive to live as is written in Colossians 3:12-17:

12 Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. 13 Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. 14 And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.
15 Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. 16 Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts. 17 And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.

I might not be allowed to pray with my students or tell them how much the Lord loves them because of the First Amendment, but my actions and responses toward my students daily should be enough to show them MY  love for Christ, and in return will exude how much Christ, and I, love them.

The fact is, most of the students will not realize that my actions, and reactions, to them are due to my Christian beliefs. And that's okay. The Lord will plant His seeds in His timing, and I am happy to be a sower of His Word and Love.

(Taken backstage for a
performance of "Joseph...")
Let me leave you with a last story... When I was a sophmore in high-school I had quite a long walk between two classes - from one side of the campus to the other and on different levels. It took my entire transition time, while at a brisk pace, to get to class on time. I always took the route less traveled. Apparently, one other student took the same route, but going in the opposite direction. We passed each other every day on the walk beside the library. We never had time to speak, but I would always say "hi". I don't think he ever responded back. I do, however, remember him always looking sad. One day he stopped me and asked, "Why are you always smiling?". It never ocurred to me that I smiled that much. In that quick moment, the Lord gave me an opportunity to plant His seed, and I responded with, "Nothing can be so bad that the Lord can not help you find a reason to smile."
I don't know what ever happened to that student...I never even found out his name. But it's not always for us to know how the Lord uses His seed. It's simply enough to be available to Him...

My walk talked that day, and the days leading up to it -  and it was with a simple smile on my face. How does your walk talk?

Let my walk talk for You every day, Jesus, so I can be Your witness!  Terri


  1. I really enjoyed this. God continue to bless you in your "walk". Lucy

  2. This is so true, Terri. God is so good and all He wants from us is to be available to Him for His use. He will give you the words and plant the seeds with your walk. Keed on walking and talking (whether silently or loudly)as He directs your path. God loves you and so do I!! Your Mommy