I attended a conference years ago that discussed various principles about working in ministry. There were many insights presented, but there was one principle shared that I have never forgotten. It is this: You cannot not communicate. The principle is simple, and the point is clear: we are always communicating…even when we are not trying to do so. For instance, our silence about issues can scream out about what we really think and feel about them. It is easy to “say” we have a “conviction” about something, but the true test of our convictions is demonstrated in how we live and our responses to life. Our genuine life values come out in the way we live and what we say (especially when we are not trying to communicate). So, we are always communicating…even when we are unintentional about it.
For the believer, this principle has great relevance. Our genuine convictions come out in the way we live…not only in what we say. In fact, our verbal assent to “Christian Principles” doesn’t imply that we believe them. It only implies that we intellectually agree with them. For instance, if I say that I “believe” that a steady, regular diet of God’s Word is fundamental to my spiritual growth, yet I do not make the time to read it…do I really believe the statement to be true? Our true convictions are demonstrated in the fact that we do make time for the things we value…like watching the evening news (or getting it from the net). We value the latest market forecast, and we feel the urgency to watch the “big” game! What do these activities say about our real convictions? This is not to imply that these activities or interests are wrong in and of themselves. But when we find the time for them (to the exclusion of reading God’s Word), then we can better understand our genuine convictions.
Now, those closest to us see our lives–especially our families. They see what we do. They hear what we say. We communicate our convictions and beliefs to them everyday
through our life and lifestyle. Our true belief system is demonstrated in the way we live and what we say (when we’re not trying to communicate). So, what are we communicating to our families about what is important? What are we communicating to a watching world about the priority and purity of Christ? We are communicating. What are we saying? You cannot not communicate.
“But prove yourselves doers of the word, and not merely hearers who delude themselves…But one who looks intently at the perfect law, the law of liberty, and abides by it, not having become a forgetful hearer but an effectual doer, this man shall be blessed in what he does.” James 1:22, 25
By God’s grace may each of us “prove to be doers” who seek to walk in humble obedience to Him.