SAY WHAT YOU MEAN,
AND MEAN WHAT YOU SAY
October 2, 2016
Politicians can be very good at saying something you want to hear. Their words can seem convincing but are not always genuine. We too can fall into this trap. There is a whole study and method to determine whether somebody is being honest and forthright in what they say.
In today’s epistle Paul is giving pastoral advice to Timothy. The gist or heart of the message is simple. “Say what you mean and mean what you say”
Say what you mean: Often times I hear somebody say “all religions believe in the same God” It sounds good on the surface but it is misleading. If by religions we mean denominations of the Christian faith I can hold by the statement. However, if the word ‘religions’ is meant to convey other faith groups then we embark upon a slippery slope. Hindus, Muslims and other faith groups can co-exist with Christians but never think that it means they believe in the Christian understanding of God. The defining difference is Jesus Christ. No other faith group proclaims Jesus Christ as Emmanuel (God with us) or Messiah (anointed one).
Paul in his mini treatise to Timothy exhorts Timothy to be bold and not fearful to proclaim the Good News that is in Jesus Christ. We in fact have what is the Apostle’s Creed precisely because the disciples/apostles confessed and wrote down the most important tenets of faith in the living God.
Mean what you say: Paul uses the term sincere faith. That is probably the most apt description of meaning what you say. We have to truly believe the words we speak about Jesus and the Holy Bible. There is also a curious part in scripture Matthew 7:21 that states, “Not all who say Lord, Lord will enter into my kingdom. It is all about being genuine in our faith. When we speak about the tenets of Christian faith we must know it to be true for us. What would be the point of saying Jesus should be somebody else’s Lord but not believe it in our own heart. The grace shown by God through Jesus is not cheap. Jesus was not afraid to say that he is “the way, the truth and the life” Therefore, we as followers of Jesus should point to him and believe in him.
What should we do?
The gospel is the same yesterday, today and forever because Jesus is the same yesterday, today and forever. We do not need to change the message. We can continue to say the Apostle’s Creed and Nicene Creed with great confidence. However, remember that reciting a creed does not equate with a living faith. Examine your heart each day. Do you say what you mean and mean what you say?
Let us pray