“Then Job replied: 2 “I have heard many things like these; you are miserable comforters, all of you! 3 Will your long-winded speeches never end? What ails you that you keep on arguing?” Job 16:1-3 NIV
President Biden in his inaugural address said many things about unity, coming together as a nation for a time to heal, and a season for us to move forward from the past. Here are some quotes from his speech.
“To overcome these challenges — to restore the soul and to secure the future of America — requires more than words. It requires that most elusive of things in a democracy: Unity. Unity.” President Joe Biden
“In another January in Washington, on New Year’s Day 1863, Abraham Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation. When he put pen to paper, the president said, “If my name ever goes down into history it will be for this act and my whole soul is in it.” My whole soul is in it. Today, on this January day, my whole soul is in this: Bringing America together. Uniting our people. And uniting our nation. I ask every American to join me in this cause.” President Joe Biden
I for one am hoping that our nation can do just that. If this is truly what he wants to do, then I am all for it. I want America to succeed. There was not a whole lot in the President’s speech that I would disagree with as long as the words are more than just wind. According to his first few hours in office, I am not sure how the unity thing is going to work out. We will see.
A leader of any magnitude must be more than a wordsmith. They must be one who leads the way in not only what they say, but what they model and do. The Apostle Paul said it this way... “Follow my example, as I follow the example of Christ.” 1 Corinthians 11:1.
Our kids in our homes would listen a lot more closely to us if we were more than windy words. This is why I cringe at a store when I hear a parent say they are going to count to three in order to get obedience from their rebellious offspring. I hear them get to “three” and then the rules change. Now if they obey, they can get a piece of candy. Kids are not stupid. If I know mom or dad doesn’t mean business when they get to “three”, I am holding out for the good stuff. In my home, we never did the counting game. My kids knew what the consequences were when they disobeyed. He had discussed it and it was modeled. History told them that in the grocery store, mom wasn’t playing around.
As we follow Christ, we must be more than what we say or write in a blog. Our lives must have the substance of action. This facilitates trust and guess what.... unity. The reason why we know President Lincoln put his soul into his work against slavery is because we have history that proves he was a man of action, not windy words. The reason we can trust in Christ as our Lord and Savior is because we have lives that prove His love and His word changes people. We can point to the substance of action. I can point to my life, changed by Christ’s love.
I pray our new President is more than windy rhetoric. But I also pray that the Church will be more than a windbag too. I pray that pastors will be more than their Sunday morning messages. I pray that parents in Christian homes will set examples to follow. Statistics tell us that is not happening, but that trend does not need to continue. We cannot be like the miserable failures of encouragers like Job’s friends, who were famous for long winded speeches. I believe we as Christians, followers of Christ can be more than wind, we can be influencers, world changers, not by what we say or sing, but by what we do.