I was visiting one of my favorite lunch restaurants this past week, hungry for my ‘usual.’ As I walked up to the counter to place my order the person looked at me with a bit of frustration. She was a bit curt and was obviously annoyed at my order. She said in so many words I could not have what I was ordering, saying clearly, ‘You can’t have that.” A little shocked, I said I have been ordering this for about the last year?? With pursed lips she said, “You’re the only one and we need to maintain consistency!” I said sheepishly that I’m sorry, I did not know, still shocked because my order was simply to substitute rice for lettuce!?! Anyway, she said we will do it this time, and then opened her eyes wide with that head tilted and bobbing nonverbal communication that says, ‘don’t you EVER order this HUGE, inconvenient, outlandish, over-the-top request again!” (At least that is what I felt from her interaction with me). Her actions made me feel like I never want to go to that restaurant again.
The truth is our actions do matter, what we do has an impact. How we act towards our coworker, our family, our neighbors, those we meet at the store, our customers, our friends, that crazy guy who walks around talking to himself, that older woman in the express line who decides to get out her check book after she has just stood there while her groceries have been rung up and waits to be told the total then she sloooooooowly excavates through her small suitcase-of-a-purse pulling out items to find her check book, then goes back for a pen, which of course no longer works…how we respond, how we react, what we say, what we don’t say, what we say with our nonverbal or sighs or huffs or forced exhales all matter. They either help or heal or hurt or hinder. That is one reason I believe we are challenged in the Bible to be careful with our actions.
Ephesians 5:15-16 Be very careful, then, how you live– not as unwise but as wise, 16 making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil.
Colossians 4:5 Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders; make the most of every opportunity.
See, how we live our life does make a difference; how we love others, how we sacrifice, how we follow Jesus, how we serve the Lord, how we practice our faith. All these actions make a huge difference to those around us. This is seen so clearly when you go to a memorial service. For that person’s life actions are either celebrated or honored or awkwardly side stepped. The wisest man that ever lived said this about memorials services
Ecclesiastes 7:2 It is better to go to a house of mourning than to go to a house of feasting, for death is the destiny of every man; the living should take this to heart.
The living should take note because someday we will have our own memorial service and what we have done with the time God gave us will be talked about. There is a poem that mentions this called “The Dash” by Linda Ellis (you can find it here ). The poem talks about that dash seen on most every grave marker between one’s date of birth and date of death. The dash only has meaning to those who were impacted by the actions of that one life. Our actions matter! Even long after we are gone.
So what are some actions that make that dash one that matters greatly and points people to God? Well I could spend days writing about that, but let me leave you a few Bible verses to ponder.
Micah 6:8 He has showed you, O man, what is good. And what does the LORD require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.
John 13:34 “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.
Proverbs 22:9 A generous man will himself be blessed, for he shares his food with the poor.
Ecclesiastes 12:13 Now all has been heard; here is the conclusion of the matter: Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole duty of man.
Oh, and I could go on. Read sometime Matthew 5:1-9 and Luke 6:27-38, the Bible is packed full of actions that matter! I wonder how different our world would be if more people choose to make their dash matter and point people to God? Let’s try. NO let’s do!
Now with that restaurant?? I’m still wondering if I should go in and find a manager or owner and ask about the incident, for I do want my actions to matter in helping their business, but I don’t want to my actions to be hurtful either, so I’m thinking and praying about it.
Seeking to choose to make my actions matter for the Lord with you,
PS I want to thank you for responses, replies, and ‘likes’ (from those who view this on Facebook) you have given, for your actions do matter to me!