Dear friends, do you think you’ll get anywhere in this if you learn all the right words but never do anything? Does merely talking about faith indicate that a person really has it? For instance, you come upon an old friend dressed in rags and half-starved and say, “Good morning, friend! Be clothed in Christ! Be filled with the Holy Spirit!” and walk off without providing so much as a coat or a cup of soup—where does that get you? Isn’t it obvious that God-talk without God-acts is outrageous nonsense? James 2:14-17
“After all is said and done, more is said than done.” Aesop
As a counselor who likes the action of positive behaviors to overcome faulty thinking, this quote has always been a favorite. We can say a lot of things, and we can think a lot of things, but putting those ideas into operation is the key. For example, we can plan to do things, we can even worry about things, but failing to act upon thoughts and plans leaves us frustrated and sometimes even worse off in our anxiety or depression.
I believe that good behavior triumphs over faulty thinking. We can get lost in thoughts, especially negative thoughts. Putting ourselves into an action mode helps us to make things come into reality. Worrying about a personal problem can sometimes be diminished by helping to solve another person’s problem. Getting outside of our own worry by volunteering for a worthy community cause is a step of help in two directions- it gets me outside of my personal worry, and I help another person with their problem.
Our worries don’t go away simply because we took an action. However, by taking action, we gain control. We demonstrate that we can positively affect our mood with our actions.
Tomorrow, I discuss how this works in prayer. Stay tuned.
Prayer: Lord, you have given us minds and bodies to use for your glory. Help us to make sure that our actions match our intentions, Amen.