Walk it like you talk it or, more personally, walk it like I talk it. That is the lesson I must keep in mind as I walk through this life and as I tell others about Jesus. The importance of this edict stays on my mind constantly, but it hasn’t always been there. I had to learn that people are always watching how I respond to events in life as God matures my faith and I have to be intentional in thinking about my responses.
I recently had an experience where I found myself in a disagreement with another person. Not just any person but one who was also a Christian, like me. Nothing unusual, we all get into differences of opinion, but for some reason this disagreement spiraled way out of the context of what we were in conflict about. Their response hit me in my emotional core which made me want to reply far more aggressively than I probably needed to. The other person sensed this and put up their defenses and the next thing I knew, we were facing an all-out argument. Why and how did this happen? As Christians, we should know better right? Well, the other person was my husband who is the one person that can push all my emotional hot buttons. And boy, he did at that moment.
Take a Breath
Thankfully, the outcome was not what it could have been. If it had happened at an earlier time in my life this would have resulted in some hurt feelings. That was during the early days of my walk with Christ. It has taken some time, but controlling my emotions was the first thing God had to deal with in my soul. I grew up in a family where letting the other person know what was on your mind was the norm vs. the exception so I had to learn to respond differently. Thank God, He didn’t give up on me and realistically, I am still learning, one day at a time.
Colossians 2:8 says –
“See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the elemental spiritual forces[a] of this world rather than on Christ.”
When you read this scripture, it speaks to the importance of knowing the truth of God’s Word, so we don’t fall victim to false interpretations embedded in human traditions. I take this one a bit further because I believe our responses to the ‘things of life’ are also related to our interpretation of what God says is appropriate. Just because everyone is doing it or it is legal, doesn’t make it right. We must ‘walk it like we talk it’ as God’s Ambassadors on earth. In my case, responding in anger would have only made the situation worse and the Bible is very clear that we should be “slow to anger” (James 1:19).
Let Your Light Shine
We need to ‘walk it like we talk it’ because people are always watching. The enemy will use others, especially those close to you, to get you to be an example that is opposite of what God is telling you to be. That is why we need to understand the importance of the fruits of the Spirit (Galatians 5) and relying on the Holy Spirit to direct our paths (John 14:26). Additionally, spiritual warfare is real and determined to make you stumble. Our responses can not only make us stumble but can also be an obstacle to another person’s faith walk. Think about it – who wants to be around a bunch of angry, impatient, abusive people? That’s why we need to understand how God wants us to live and respond to life’s experiences. Don’t worry if you are reading this and feel “oh, oh, I have not been responding appropriately.” Thankfully God’s grace and mercy can pick us up, dust us off and give us another chance to make it right.
Get into the Bible, pray and be in relationship with God. The Holy Spirit will tell you how to walk, where to walk and even when to walk away. And the reality of it all, God promised us He would fight our battles for us, so let God respond for you (Exodus 14:14).