“Then the woman said to Elijah, “Now I know that you are a man of God and that the word of the LORD from your mouth is the truth.””
1 Kings 17:24
I work in a school that has Saturday morning lessons. I am not, therefore, a fan of Saturday mornings. Whilst most of my friends re enjoying a lie in, I’m up at the crack of dawn teaching Russian history to a bunch of Year 13 students. I’m not a great fan of Friday evenings, either. Whilst most of the world is winding down for the weekend, I’m getting ready for work.
I used to love Friday evenings. After work in my last job, a large group of us would go out for drinks at a local pub. There was a big bunch of regulars, but every so often we’d be joined by others. One of the less frequent attendees was an older colleague, who became a very dear friend. Not only is she friendly and supportive, but she’s also wise and fun, an interesting pairing! I remember one Friday evening being horrified at her response when she found out I was a Christian. She thought that I was too nice and too normal to be a Christian. What shocked me the most, however, was the fact that she didn’t realize I was a Christian. I thought I’d been open and honest with my faith, and I was shocked that someone I considered a good friend didn’t know.
Just before today’s reading picks up, Elijah has just prayed to God to bring someone’s daughter back to life. God answers his prayer, and the girl is restored to faith. The girl’s mother responds with the statement in today’s reading. This statement reminded me that actions speak louder than words. If we want to really demonstrate our faith, to God, to those around us, but also to ourselves, it is important that our faith is evident in our actions. Do we act with kindness, generosity and love to those around us? Or are we mean, rude and unloving? People will form judgements on us as much, if not more, by what we do rather than by what we say.
Another point that today’s reading brought across to me is the importance of thinking about what we say when people know us as Christians. Those who know us as Christians will think that we act, and speak, in a particular way. It is important that we do not say anything that will have a negative impact on none Christians. What we say to them will affect how they think not just of us, but also our Christian brothers and sisters.
As Christians, we are agents for the Lord on earth. That is an awesome respnsibiliy. Let’s ensure we live up to that reputation!