Actions Speak Louder Than Words

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An editorial in the Current-Argus by Ned Cantwell contained some thought-provoking words:

Suppose the drafters of the Declaration of Independence had neglected to add this paragraph to their document:     

And for the support of the Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes, and our Sacred Honor.

It would have been remarkable if any revolution could have been made. . . That historic bit of parchment, faded and scarred, is still a part of mid-twentieth century America. Sometimes, however, we act as though we would like to forget about the acts and deeds of the men which gave meaning to the Declaration . . .We have a tendency to assume that once we have made the right sort of speeches and passed the proper kind of resolutions, nothing more needs to be done. We have some lovely sets of words. But sometimes we seem not to know how to fit action to them. We can sign declarations of independence, but we don’t stick around for Valley Forge or Saratoga.

The fault which Mr. Cantwell describes is a common one. Much too often it is at this point that we get “bogged down” in our personal lives. Our intentions are the best. Our words of support for the necessary task may be both fluent and strong. We may even urge others to become involved. But then comes the test. There is labor, sweat, money, sacrifice, and even some tears to be invested if the task is accomplished. Where I am after the words stop and the work begins is what matters.

Churches become idle, sleeping worship societies for the same cause. Elders’ meetings, business meetings, committee appointments, and their meetings are all necessary. But we make a fatal mistake if we think they are all that is necessary for the church to be what God intended it to be. Someone has observed that we have heard nothing of the resolutions of the disciples, but that everyone has heard of the Acts of the Apostles! Great churches are not made by great plans alone. We must do more than talk about visiting: we must visit! We must do more than talk about teaching our friends: we must teach them! We must do more than talk about giving: we must give!  Actions do speak louder than words!

[Note: I wrote this article for and it was published in the July 10, 1973, edition of Sentinel, weekly bulletin of the Sunset Church of Christ, Carlsbad, NM, of which I was editor.]

Attribution: From; Dub McClish, owner and administrator.


Author: Dub McClish

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