It is possible to speak quite eloquently, yes even to pray with moving, powerful words which challenge as well as minister to the hearers. And yet if the life does not back up what is spoken, those words and prayers begin to sound hollow and empty. On the other hand it’s possible to stammer around, to hardly be able to put one coherent sentence together with another. In the most simple words. And yet that stammering and those words can end up being full of meaning and power. Because the life backs up what is said.
I have seen this firsthand, and it challenges me in my life. I am one as you would guess, or more like know, who can be full of words. Of course we with that tendency have to be all the more on guard over what we say. But what really speaks to people in the end is not what we say apart from our lives: who we are and what we do. In fact our lives can speak volumes, even if we say very little or even nothing at all. One is reminded of the saying: “Preach the Gospel always, and if necessary, use words.” That could well be regarded as a maxim, not to be taken literally so much as to communicate an important point, which we do well to take to heart and life.
Of course all is grace. We need to be praying that our lives would have the mark of God on them by the Spirit through his grace in Jesus. That we would really be consistently living out lives of love for God and for our neighbor (including our enemies). Of course none of us are sinless or match the depth and beauty of our Lord. But we should ever be seeking to grow beyond where we are, so that more and more people might see Jesus in us. That our lives together may speak to the world who needs to see what we have, in Jesus.