We are walking advertisements of what we believe.
People notice first and foremost what we do. If they like what they see, they might be interested in finding out if our words line up with what we say–if we talk one way and act another, our words lose credibility.
In other words, can people tell what we believe (our orthodoxy) by how we act (our orthopraxy)? The contrast between orthodoxy and orthopraxy is often referred to as “correct belief” versus “correct practice.” And most religions emphasize one or the other.
I believe the Bible tells us, and Jesus shows us, that right thinking is just the first step in our transformation to living as the hands and feet of Jesus, right practice. We advertise what we truly believe, and sometimes our faith is faulty. This was also true of those who followed in Jesus’ footsteps.
In Mark 6, the disciples witness a miracle of provision when Jesus miraculously turns five loaves of bread and two fish into enough food to feed more than 5000 hungry people–with leftovers! Immediately afterward, Jesus told them to cross the lake in a boat, and he’d meet up with them on the other side. (Didn’t they even wonder how he was going to get there?) But a storm came, fear took over, and when they saw someone walking on the water, they went deeper into fear thinking it was a ghost. They’d just seen a miracle that the Lord provides, but it hadn’t infiltrated their belief system. Their actions exhibited this.
They were all terrified when they saw him. But Jesus spoke to them at once. “Don’t be afraid,” he said. “Take courage! I am here!” Then he climbed into the boat, and the wind stopped. They were totally amazed, for they still didn’t understand the significance of the miracle of the loaves. Their hearts were too hard to take it in. Mark 6:50-52, NLT
Notice Jesus words to his disciples, in spite of their lack of recognition and faith. He didn’t berate them. He just calmly reminded them that He was there, and that’s all they needed.
So how far has your faith been infiltrated by who God is and how much He loves you? Do you confess it with your mouth, but it hasn’t sunk in enough to be exhibited in your actions? Are you advertising stress or peace, anxiety or acceptance, negativity or confidence in God’s provision?
Strong faith isn’t grown during a Sunday church service. It takes daily attention and practice.
Let’s show the world our orthodoxy through our orthopraxy.