Action Command

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January 13

Action Command ~~ Donna Schaper

Therefore prepare your minds for action; discipline yourselves; set all your hope on the grace that Jesus Christ will bring you when he is revealed. From 1 Peter 1:13 – 16

Action has a great public relations agency people want to be active, not passive; engaged, not distant; they remember the full wisdom that "actions speak louder than words." That action without a prepared mind is dangerous.

Don't just stand there, we say, do something. Most of what we do when we are just "doing something" is pointless. Actions without intentions – – an action without humility – – in fake us into thinking we are "doing something." Such action is a short term solution to life's long-term.

Unprepared or unmindful action has become tyrannical. It is divorced from reflection, and the children, after the divorce, are suffering. Whether it is speeding up at work; e-mails at home, at work, on the subway, or even while riding a bike; or on the way "we have become the tools of our tools," as Thoreau said, action is overblown. It has become something that puffs us up, while exhausting us.

The old-fashioned way of talking about this dilemma is to contrast works and grace, the way our doing of even good things can conflict with our way of being grace filled people. If you think it is all up to you and you have to work hard to do good, you are in danger of thinking your works have saved you and not your faith. Sola fide, only faith, say the old-timers. And they had no public relations agency all.

PRAYER: O God, when action threatens to get in the way of grace, permit us conscientious objection to joining its military. Amen.

God Is Still Speaking: 365 Daily Devotionals, ed. Christina Villa (Cleveland: The Pilgrim Press, 2013), 14-15.