Over my life as a follower of Jesus, I have met many who claim to know Him, but their lives reflect otherwise. My mother was one of them. She grew up going to church, and after having us kids, faithfully took us to church. But I never saw or heard her pray. I never once saw her read the Bible. She never talked about God. She blamed my dad for most of her troubles. And after I decided to follow Jesus, she accused me of being in a cult.
As I reflect on most of her life, there was nothing about it that revealed a love for the Lord. I say “most” because after she was diagnosed with terminal cancer and after witnessing how profoundly my life had changed, she, too, decided to follow Jesus. And I had the honor and privilege of baptizing her.
I have spent my entire adult life working with students and many I have met claim to be Christians, but, sadly, their lives reflect something different. As with my mother, they have little or no interest in praying or reading the Scriptures, they rarely talk about the Lord, and the choices they make are not for the Lord, but for themselves.
This proverb speaks a truth that we so often forget: Our testimony is not what we say, but rather how we live our daily lives. We can say what we want. We can say it in a way that sounds really good. But the truth is found in how we actually live. One’s life is like a book. As a book is made up of an author’s words and sentences, so one’s life is made up of one’s daily choices and actions. The words and sentences tell the story, and so does the way we live our lives tell our story.
Most of her life, my mom was not a Christian, though she claimed to be. And her life reflected this truth. But it was rewritten when she confessed her sins and acknowledged her need for Jesus’ forgiveness, repented, and was baptized. And that is the beauty of coming to know Jesus in a real way. The story we’ve been writing with our lives can be rewritten if it has been a fake story. It can become true. But for that to happen, we have to realize we don’t become a follower of Jesus merely by claiming to be one. The real truth is reflected in how we are living our lives.
Today, consider what your life reflects about your heart? Is it the same as you claim, or is the truth actually much different? If, like my mother, your claims fall far short of the reality, then know your story can be rewritten, as was hers. Just go before the Lord and confess. Repent of your sins and begin to truly walk with Jesus. Then you will have a true story to tell.
© Jim Musser 2017