For most of the years I have been married (17 now), whenever I wanted to show Michele how much I loved and appreciated her I would give her a big hug and kiss. Sometimes I would literally “sweep her off her feet”. My intentions were good and it felt great! She’s hot, so let’s be honest it felt really great! Less than two years ago we read this book (link) together. I found out from our conversations that a much better way to make her feel loved was to do something thoughtful or helpful for her. I had her “love language” wrong for years! (Thankfully, she still lets me hug and kiss her-for me!)
So what’s more important, intentions or results? Jesus weighed in on this subject BIG TIME in his teachings. One of my favorites was when he was being criticised by the religious leaders of the time for his “methods”. (Sound familiar?) After offering a scathing reply (read the whole story-here), Jesus uttered these words:
19The Son of Man came eating and drinking, and they say, ‘Here is a glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and “sinners.” ‘ But wisdom is proved right by her actions.”
In Luke (here) it reads “wisdom is proved right by her children” but in all accounts, and all translations, it is clear that Jesus set a standard- We are “judged” by our actions not our intentions. If you think that was an “isolated incident” check out this parable, (link)where the guy with “good intentions” of not losing his masters money was severely punished, and the others with “results” were rewarded. This theme runs deep in the teachings of Jesus. “A tree is know by its fruit” etc. It culminates in one of his final teachings in John 15:1-17. (link)
So does calling ourselves “actionchurch” mean we have a better understanding of Jesus teaching than other churches? NOT AT ALL! Our name is simply a reminder that we will be judged by our actions, not our intentions! How does that make us “different” than other churches? IT DOESN’T! Every church is “judged” by their actions and results by both God and their community. Every one! It may “feel good” to have two cans of marshmallow fluff and some pickled beats in the church closet and call it a “food pantry” but our God and our neighbors look to us to feed the hungry. It may “feel good” to stick a crappy gospel tract under the windshield wiper of that “long haired” pagan at work, but our God and our neighbors look to us to actually show Love to them. It may “feel good” to have churchy little gatherings that we all enjoy, but our God and our community will decide if we actually “reached out”!
So Hello, our name is actionchurch. We don’t have it all together. We probably never will. We will not: however, let that be an excuse not to put the teachings of Jesus into action! We will try and reject many “methods”. We will experiment. We will come up short. We will never quit! We will constantly strive to find ways to make our message- Louder than Words!