Let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth.
1 John 3:18
Frank Sonnenberg is an award-winning author. His area of expertise is a fascinating one. Over the years he has mastered an understanding of leadership and human relationships in the environment of a small business. In other words, over time Frank Sonnenberg has gotten very good at making astute observations about people.
In one of his recent books, Sonnenberg speaks about the great harm that can come to a small business through a certain type of individual. It’s the type of individual who tends to be mostly talk but little action. The personalities of such individuals can vary, but the results are the same. Below are five of Frank Sonnenberg’s character sketches of individuals who typically fail to follow through on their words.
First, there is “The Emperor.” Like the emperor’s new clothes, Sonnenberg says, everything centers on the show rather than the substance. They talk a good game, but that’s all.
Second, there is “The Politician.” The Politician will say anything to win your confidence. Once they have it, however, they are nowhere to be found.
Another is “The Drifter.” The Drifter, Sonnenberg says, has no backbone. They will make a statement one minute and then change their position the next. Instead of action there is evasiveness.
Still another is “The Professor.” The Professor can speak eloquently about theory, but that’s where it ends.
Finally, Sonnenberg says, there is “The Zombie.” Zombies are so oblivious to reality they don’t even realize that their words are out of step with their actions.
Now comes the hard part. As you consider these character sketches, which ones make you wince? Which ones make you wince when you think about your own lack of follow-through towards others in your life? Whose faces appear in your mind?
This is why Jesus came. On our behalf, Jesus followed through on his every commitment. Then he took our mountains of failed follow-throughs and paid for every last one at the cross. Then he rose from the dead, just as he said. And now, through faith in him, Jesus fulfills his promise to embrace us in his forgiveness, to embrace us as his own.
And that is what empowers you and me to follow through towards others with “actions and in truth.” Starting today.
Lord Jesus, I confess I have let people down in my life. I’ve let you down too. Wash me clean. Renew my spirit. Empower me to begin anew. Amen.
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