I save quotes from the Jack’s Winning Words blog and quite often find that 2 or more seem to go together. Today is one of those time when a quote used by Pastor Freed today seems to go well with an earlier quote.
Today he used this quote –
“If you live your religion you will become different.” (Dom Helder Camara)
And, I had this one saved from an earlier post –
“Talking about music is like dancing about architecture.” (Steve Martin)
We often see people in the news self-righteously proclaiming their religious beliefs while committing what amounts to crimes or we find out later that the supposedly pious church leader was in fact a pedophile. They were talking about religion, but not living it.
I’m not sure that I even like using the word religion in today’s quote, better to use faith or beliefs. The word religion carries with it too much of the baggage of dogma and fabricated doctrine with it. One of the groups that Jesus often took to task in his teaching were the Pharisees and scribes of his day (see Luke 11:37–11:54, Matthew 23:1–23:39 and Mark 12:35–12:40). Those religious posers had allowed their own egos to get in the way of their faith and preferred to talk about their religion, rather than live it.
Living one’s faith does not involve standing on street corners spouting Bible verses or yelling that the world is condemned by its sins. That is not the difference that Helder-Camara was referencing. The differences are in what you do and how you do those thing, rather than what you say or how you call attention to yourself. The difference is found in acts of kindness and concern for the well-being of others. The difference is in the feeling of satisfaction and fulfillment that one gets from volunteering to help others, not in any news coverage of that event. The difference is not in calling attention to one’s self and accomplishments but rather in seeing the joy that you bring to others through your actions. You become different when you make a difference in the lives of others.
So, rather than telling someone that you will pray for them, so that they can see how religious yo are, actually do something to help them. Don’t just talk about your faith, put it into action. Volunteer to help at your local food bank. Work in the background packing food for Meal on Wheels. Make phone calls to shut-ins to see if they are OK. Offer to mow the lawn of that elderly neighbor who can no longer do it himself or herself. It is the sweat from your actions that truly demonstrates your faith, not you words. You will become a different person, a happier person and a person whom others hold up as an example of how to live your faith.
To paraphrase the Nike slogan. Just live it!