and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound? It’s an age old debate, with great points on both sides. The main argument boils down to “How can it make a noise if no one is there to hear it?”. It’s a pretty sound argument at first, think about it, there’s not people paying attention, word of the tree falling probably wont reach many people and even if it does, it will probably take a good while to reach those who do hear about it. However once you take time to truly consider it, you realize the answer is not hard. It doesn’t matter if there’s people around or not, the tree fell AND made a noise. The fact that no one heard it, doesn’t take away the fact that it did happen.
This mindset parallels Christian living very well. Time and time again the Bible tells us we’re called to help others, the message of serving others literally came out of Jesus’ lips multiple times! But how often do we follow through? If we’re honest, we miss out on opportunities daily. Why? Personally I think a huge reason is because we want actions that cause a huge ripple affect and yield results immediately instead of small random acts .We see great acts of serving, such as a mission trip to a third world country or donating $10,000 to a charity as awesome things (which they are) but then we see other actions and write them off as worthless. We pass up complimenting our waiter/waitress when they look sad, we see a donation box and walk by it because we think the $5 in our pocket wont do them any real good. We lose the simple truth that it’s the pure heart acting to be the hands and feet of Christ that matters, not how grand the scale of what we did is. It doesn’t matter if you change the world or change someone’s world, if a million people see or no one sees, don’t pass up an opportunity to make a difference, even the smallest act, can change a life forever.
It was Friday morning around 9:30am at Three Crosses (the outreach I work at). A kid by the name of Champ was standing in front of me and I was disciplining him for throwing water on another kid. As he explained his side of the story I kept hearing the same things reiterated “Well he…” and “And She….” and “I was just retaliating”. By this time some kids had gathered around (if you don’t know by now, kids are naturally nosey) and I said to them “I don’t get why you feel like y’all have to retaliate and I don’t get why you have to provoke someone in the first place. You don’t see Sarah (my friend who helps out there as well) and I calling each other names. You don’t see me getting mad when Ashby (another friend who works there) hits me with a ball”. It was interesting the reaction I received afterwards, it was just silence. Now I can’t say that since then everyone has been little angels, I can’t say that five people got saved due to those couple of sentences, but what I can say is that the staff is doing there part. See my words would have fallen on deaf ears had my actions not reflected my words and most certainly one of the kids would have happily stepped right up to call me out on my hypocrisy, but thankfully they weren’t able to.
Words mean nothing if your actions aren’t in check with them. You can quote any Scripture from the Bible that you want to, you can start any Bible study you want to, you can smile as big as you want, but if your life outside of an outreach, church, etc… is different, then somewhere along the line, you’ve missed the point. To be completely honest, one of the things that gets me the most is when people sing about God, read about God, or talk about God, then ten minutes later they’re talking about the person that they hate, the party they’re going to next weekend, or they go on a cynical rant. It contradicts the very thing they were promoting just a little bit ago and it’s not good.
Keep in mind people are ALWAYS watching (not promoting paranoia, you know what I mean). So make sure you’re following the same Christianity that you’re marketing to an unsaved world.