I Can’t Seem To See What You Are Saying


I Can’t Seem to See What You are Saying

It had been one of those mornings I never want to repeat.  The headache had been building since the day began, but I knew I couldn’t give in to the pain because two little boys were depending on me.  Finally, Nathan was napping and Mickey Mouse had captured Caleb’s attention.  I settled down in a comfortable chair with a cup of coffee, closing my eyes for just a moment, I rubbed my aching head.  Suddenly, I felt a cool little hand on my brow and a tiny voice say Grandma and other intelligible words except for the last two, “name and amen.”  A song of praise began to rise up in me and my headache disappeared as I realized 2-year old Caleb had prayed for me in Jesus Name, Amen!  How did he know that was exactly what I needed?  Was it because he had witnessed his dad and mom praying over him in the wee hours of the morning?  Had he been paying attention when Grandpa anointed someone with oil and prayed for them in church?  Maybe it was the time he fell off the slide and Grandma ran to hold him close, praying in the Name of Jesus as his tears were wiped away.  Caleb was imitating the behavior he had witnessed; when you are having a tough time, PRAY!

It is so wonderful to see our children imitate our good behavior.  I love watching Madison rock and cuddle her dolls because that’s how mommies behave.  Mackenzie explained to me exactly which side of the plate the knife should be placed because someone portrayed this etiquette to her.  It is natural for Caleb and Nathan to raise their hands in praise to God as we sing because that has been modeled to them.  But, what about the times when our children or grandchildren’s behavior is not so exemplary?  Have you ever been totally embarrassed by your child’s antics only to suddenly realize you have been “slapped in the face” by the echo of your own words and actions?  Children are “champion imitators” but not “gold-medal discerners.”  They will mirror every behavior they observe.

Ephesians 5:1 tells us, “Therefore be imitators of God as dear children,” yet many times the behavior we are imitating is far from the reflection of God.  We may say all the right words, quote scripture, and preach sermons, but what are we portraying by our actions?  When our words and actions don’t match, our witness is as confusing as watching a movie in which the movement and words are out of sync. Our friends and neighbors just can’t seem to see what we are saying.

I read today where the actor, Neal McDonough, was fired from the television series, Scoundrels, for refusing to perform in steamy love scenes.  He has also refused to do the same on Desperate Housewives and Boomtown, due to his devout faith and principles.  While his words of refusal are admirable, his actions of accepting roles in multiple series which would require this type of performance are confusing.  Last year, Miss California, Carrie Prejean lost her crown after her statement regarding gay marriage.  She was lauded by religious leaders and invited to be a presenter at a gospel music awards program.  A few days later nude and compromising pictures of her were published.  She felt she was being persecuted for her faith and her moral stance.  Wait just a minute!!!!!!!!  Her actions were turning her words into objects of ridicule by unbelievers.  Once again, their philosophy of Hypocrisy and Christianity has been reinforced because they just can’t seem to see what we are saying.

Matthew 15:8, “These people draw near to me with their mouth and honor me with their lips, but their heart is far from me.”  We have fed the cynicism of unbelievers through our hypocrisy of speaking words of life with our mouth as our bodies follow the way leading to death. The world is longing for a person or a group of people who really believe what they speak and portray it through their actions.  When we reach the point that we believe and embrace the words we are saying, our actions will preach the gospel and our world will see and follow what we have been saying.


About the author

Susan Niswonger

I am a Home Missions Pastor's wife. I have been married to the most wonderful, Godly man in the world for 33 years. We have 2 sons, 2 grandson and 3 granddaughters. 42 years ago, at the age of 9, I was baptized in Jesus Name and received the Holy Ghost. It gets better every day.