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Show, Not Tell

“The true expression of Christian character is not in good-doing, but in God-likeness.”

Oswald Chambers

Writers are encouraged to “show, not tell.” Telling is giving information to the reader by stating it, where showing is painting a picture for the reader to see. Jesus, in Luke 5:12-14 encourages us as well to be showers, not tellers.

Jesus met a man who was covered with leprosy and when he saw Jesus, he begged Jesus to heal him. Jesus touched the man and immediately, the leprosy left. In verse 14, Jesus ordered the man, “Don’t tell anyone, but go, show yourself to the priest and offer the sacrifices that Moses commanded for your cleansing, as a testimony to them”(emphasis mine). Jesus instructed the healed leper to show, not tell his miraculous health.

Before we became Christians, we were like the leper, full of sin. Our speech, actions, emotional reactions and thoughts revealed we were sinners. We did what we wanted to do, when we wanted to do it. Our lives revolved around us. It was obvious we were unclean, when compared to the holiness of God.

Like the leper, when we become a Christian, we too fall humbly to the ground and beg the Lord to be willing to cleanse us and forgive us of our sin. As new believers, the Lord directs us to show we are Christians, not just tell others that we believe. Genuine belief results in obvious fruit.

Wearing a WWJD bracelet or a Christian t-shirt tells the world we’re believers. We display to the world our faith by building others up, not by slandering or being critical of others. Our character traits of love, humility, holiness, grace-giving and compassion are actions which show society that we are followers of Jesus Christ. A Christian bumper sticker on our car tells others we have a personal relationship with Jesus, but it doesn’t demonstrate it.

Look for ways you can show people you are Christ’s disciple. Be intentional on showing your faith, not just telling it.

“The secret of a Christian’s life is that the supernatural becomes natural in him as a result of the grace of God, and the experience of this becomes evident in the practical, everyday details of life, not in times of intimate fellowship with God.”

Oswald Chambers

Relevant Reflection:

How are you showing, not telling the world you love Jesus?

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