Do you “walk the talk”? Do you “practice what you preach”? Do you tell your children or grandchildren to “do as you say, not as you do”? I shouldn’t make assumptions, but I would be willing to bet (even though United Methodists are not supposed to gamble) that all of us have had difficulty applying these clichés or principles to our daily lives.
I believe most people have a sense of what is right and wrong and therefore we teach this to our kids and we tell others that this is what we believe. But I do not think I have ever met anyone who has consistently applied these moral or spiritual principles to our lives.
And maybe this is why our denomination added the term “witness” to the membership vows back in 2008. Therefore, when we join the church, besides making professions of the Christian faith, and promising to be loyal members of the church through our prayers, our attendance, our gifts of talent and finances, and our service, we promise to be faithful with our witness.
Our witness is indeed putting our beliefs into practice and walking the talk. Our witness is making sure that we follow up what we teach our youngsters by practicing it in our own lives. Our witness is not participating in activities that would call our faith into question. And, bringing back to mind our Lenten series of sermons one more time: our witness is to answer God’s call to discipleship, love, forgiveness, justice, service, dying to self, and celebration.
All of these matters are a life-long process. We never wake up one morning thinking we’ve ever truly “arrived”. But we can wake up assured and at peace because we know we are trying and not wavering in the process.
So, as we finally move back into what we hope are warm weather months, let’s commit ourselves as individual followers of Jesus Christ and as a congregation to living out our witness.
God Bless All,