“Changing our view of God is not a passive decision, but an inspired one. When we begin to understand, know, and draw close to God, mere talk will not satisfy us. God will keep our lamp of inspiration burning, and we will want to do something great with our lives.”
-Russ Ewell, When God Isn’t Attractive
I’ve always loved writing. Because I was such a shy kid growing up and always had a hard time interacting with others and engaging in conversations, I reverted to writing to express what was really going on inside. I just love the power of it, that the way you simply string words together can leave such a lasting impact. Some words put together can make you laugh, some make you cry, and some just make you think. But as I’ve gotten older, I’ve realized that as powerful as they are, words can only do so much.
For the Kingdom of God is not just a lot of talk; it is living by God’s power.
1 Corinthians 4:20 NLT
God wants us to live lives that are powerful not only in words, but in action. It can be easy to try to coast through life with a “fake it till you make it” mentality, thinking if you talk a good game that is good enough. I could go months acting like I have it all together, telling people what they want to hear, and giving advice on things that I’m not even living out myself. I could have the greatest insights and comments on my friends’ lives, and they have no idea what’s going on with me or how I’m inwardly falling apart.
“What sorrow awaits you teachers of religious law and you Pharisees. Hypocrites! For you are so careful to clean the outside of the cup and the dish, but inside you are filthy—full of greed and self-indulgence!
Matthew 23:25 NLT
When you are all about the talk and not about the walk, everything becomes about performance and outward appearance. You work so hard to get people to see you as smart, funny, beautiful, and hardworking, but no one ever really knows the real you.
For our gospel came to you not merely in the form of words but in mighty power infused with the Holy Spirit and deep conviction. Surely you remember how we lived our lives transparently before you to encourage you.
1 Thessalonians 1:5 TPT
When we are willing to live our lives transparently with God and people, we become powerful, no longer just performing to look like we are changing and growing, but actually doing it. Our attempts to help other people actually make an impact, because we’re not just telling people how to live, we’re actually showing them.
Keep a close watch on how you live and on your teaching. Stay true to what is right for the sake of your own salvation and the salvation of those who hear you.
1 Timothy 4:16 NLT
Our willingness to become transparent so that we can live what we say doesn’t just affect ourselves, but influences the people around us as well. When we have a relationship with God that is honest and real, we are able to show others how powerful a relationship with God really can be.
What do you need to be transparent about? What convictions in your life need to be deepened? How can you be real with God today?
To find out more about how to be transparent and walk the walk, read Chapter 5 of Russ Ewell’s book, When God Isn’t Attractive: “What Makes God Attractive: How We Can Change the World.”