Saying all the right things matters little when it’s not also followed by right action. Our words must become embodied. And it’s only reasonable to expect this from others as well.
For instance, of course our wife appreciates hearing just how much we love her. But she rightly questions our sincerity when this declaration of love doesn’t also come with skin on.
Our words are empty words of flattery when our actions don’t also match what we’re saying.
And the same is true with God. We can’t say we love him and then live in rejection to who he has called us to be. Our life must match our confession of faith.
But this standard is not just for us. It helps us to discern who we trust and choose to do life with as well.
For example, a friend is not really a friend when he sweet-talks us to our face and then stabs us in the back.
And we should enter with caution whenever our bosses or leaders tell us what we want to hear to gain our support and then quickly disregard what’s important to us when it matters.
People without integrity cannot be trusted. And we should believe the tiger when he shows us his stripes.
This is not to demand perfection. We ourselves know how often we miss the mark and have to try again. But it’s clear we’re making every effort for our words and actions to match.
And this is not to prioritize actions over words. Words still have power and speak life into our souls in a way different than action alone. Our wife still wants to hear how much we love her regardless of how much we’re doing for her without saying a word.
In the end, speak words of life. And let your actions follow accordingly. Both are needed in our practice of love.