God's word in today's world

Actions speak louder than words


From the letter that Paul writes to Philemon one learns a lot about Philemon and how he lived. Paul’s letter is a wonderful testimonial of Philemon’s life. One would think that they’ve been friends for years who have a braai together every weekend. But Paul hadn’t even met Philemon. What Paul writes about Philemon is what other people had said about him.

7Friend, you have no idea how good your love makes me feel, doubly so when I see your hospitality to fellow believers.

When you go back and study the original verse, there’s more. Philemon was physically involved and made sure that hungry people got fed. But he went even further. Philemon knew how hard it was for people when their joy was stolen. That’s why he did everything possible to fill their hearts with joy again.

And Philemon didn’t stop there. Philemon removed the burden that the people in his sphere of influence wore on their spirits, that pressure on their thoughts. He didn’t just alleviate it. Didn’t just apply ointment and bless them. No, he removed the heaviness from their minds.

Philemon’s work changed people’s lives inside and out. He brought peace. He brought comfort. When Philemon walked away, their lives had been refreshed. Everybody enjoyed his walking through their lives.

In a way Philemon did what Jesus had done (Henry, e-Sword).

What great example this is for us! We must be like that too. Even if people hadn’t met us yet, they should be able to write stories about what others have told them about our actions.

Johan tells about the folded piece of paper he had found in his dad’s ID document after his death:

As Forrest H. Kirkpatrick put it:

“The eye’s a better student and more willing than the ear;
Fine counsel is confusing, but example’s always clear;
And the best of all the preachers are the men who live their creeds,
For to see the good in action is what everybody needs.

I can soon learn how to do it if you’ll let me see it done;
I can watch your hands in action, but your tongue too fast may run;
And the lectures you deliver may be very wise and true,
But I’d rather get my lesson by observing what you do.

For I may not understand you and the high advice you give,
But there’s no misunderstanding how you act and how you live.”

May these words be a true description of us one day.

Scripture
Philemon 1:4-7

Reflection
What do your words look like?
What do your actions look like?
Do they make a beautiful picture for others to see?

Prayer
Jesus, I want to live like You. I want to walk the talk. I want what I do to make a difference in people’s lives. Amen.

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