You can talk the talk, but can you walk the walk?

It’s really easy for me to talk about how great Jesus is. I’ve heard about him since the day I was born; I know his story and a good deal about all the theories and ideas that grew from his teachings. I could talk for weeks about the man without slowing down. He’s fascinating, whether you believe his story, or not, you’ve got to admit that he’s an impressive man.


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It’s just as easy for me to share personal examples of what Jesus has done for me. How I believe that Jesus really lived and walked this earth, and how I believe that without the life of Jesus, the Christ, my life would look nothing like it looks today. I’ve filled fat journals with my life events that I attribute to the Christ.

It’s much more difficult for me to physically live what I believe.

Like the preacher’s assistant or televangelist in Jermaine’s story, or the Priest and Levite in the original version, it’s really easy to talk about living full, healthy lives.

I mean, there’s an entire theology behind doing that, nicknamed the Prosperity Gospel. The idea that, if we give 10% of our income and tell people about Jesus, that we’ll be (financially) blessed. Go find some Christians living in the horn of Africa and try to teach them this.

The Pharisees in the Bible were really great at talking. They loved preaching and teaching and following rules. They thought that they had favor in God’s eyes because they knew the law. They were better than other people because they somehow “got it” – the way of pure and holy life.

However, when it came down to truth, these guys could “talk the talk” but they couldn’t “walk the walk”. They were so busy being right that they couldn’t connect real people to their words. They were oblivious to living compassionately, because that would mean letting go of the life they had worked so diligently to build.

So as I was thinking about my post for compassion week while faced with a family tragedy, I asked, What about me? What kind of life am I really living?

Am I a person who is really good at writing and counseling and talking about a good way of life? Or am I a person who is truly living out the point of what Jesus lived to teach (that’s a rhetorical question, please don’t answer it in the comments, give a girl a break.)?

Do I “get it” or do I just think I do?

Jesus offered compassion. Jesus knew compassion. And when men, women, and children had even the smallest of interactions with him, they walked away changed forever. In fact, they were so changed that they told everyone they knew, which went on to create a movement so incredibly large that 2000 years later, a young woman is sitting in her apartment baking bread and continuing to share his story with you.

Are we so caught up in living good lives, and doing the right things, making the right turns, walking the right paths, that we have completely forgotten the entire point of Jesus’ life?

Are we so focused on fulfilling our calling and “being all that we can be”, that we miss building a relationship with our next door neighbors?

I mean, I’ve lived in this apartment for over a year, and I barely know the people who I share a wall with. We share living space! All I know is her first name, that she owns a cat, and that she likes Halloween decorations.

Do we really know Jesus as a compassionate man who looked into our eyes and had compassion on us? Do we really know Jesus as a teacher, one who taught love so that we might learn how to love?

Are we just book smart without common sense?

As Shelly said yesterday, “compassion is offering love and the love of Jesus”. It’s not quick fixes and it’s not saying all the right things. It’s a way of being, a way of living. Compassion is a way to not only know the story of the man we call the Christ, but to be part of it.

So, are you talking, or are you walking?


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