In her book, The Secret Thoughts of an Unlikely Convert, Rosaria Butterfield says, “We are the stories we tell.” Our lives, not just our words, are telling a story. I want to be a great storyteller. I want my story to proclaim God’s power perfected in my weakness (2 Corinthians 12:9). I also want the themes of redeeming love and grace-fueled obedience to anchor my story.
About four years ago, God showed me great grace in opening my eyes to my own hypocrisy. I was able to quote any verse about God’s concern for vulnerable people. I could teach Bible studies about God’s command in James 1:27 to visit orphans and widows in their affliction. But what I could not do is present any evidence that I was obeying God’s Word concerning the vulnerable. He then led me to repentance and began to stir my heart to obedience. By His grace, He made me an orphan advocate. He’s given me a voice to use on their behalf (Proverbs 31:8). He sends me to visit them in children’s homes and share the gospel. He’s using my family to welcome a child into our home through adoption. He changed my story to validate my words.
It’s easy to tell a story; it’s harder to be our stories. It’s also harder to exhibit authenticity. Often, we declare something with our words but contradict it through our actions. Titus 1:16 says, “They profess to know God, but they deny Him by their works. They are detestable, disobedient, unfit for any good work.” The words we speak should translate seamlessly into the deeds we do. If we say we love God, we should live the kind of lives that express that through actionable obedience (John 14:15). We love through our deeds, not our words (1 John 3:18). Obedience requires action.
Does your life tell the same story that your words do?