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RELIGION: A character is what he does

by James "Skip" French | November 17, 2021 at 5:22 a.m.

Growing up I often heard it said you should live your life as though it were the only Bible someone was to read. What if you couldn't tell someone you were a Christian, verbally that is? It is much like writing a novel.

This is the first rule of writing. If your character is hostile or vindictive or loving or kind, don't just say it. Demonstrate it. Make your character do something hostile or vindictive or loving or kind. That's because, as writer Donald Miller has said, a character is what he does.

What if this rule took over your life?

Imagine how it would be today if you couldn't provide narration as you go along: You could tell no one what you believe. You couldn't explain your actions or defend your motives. You could not say, "I love you" or "I'm sorry" or "This is what my life is about."

Imagine how it would be if today you couldn't tell, you could only show. What conclusions might your friends and family and co-workers come to? Would it be the truth?

I challenge you to give it a try. Show, don't tell. Or perhaps: show first, tell second. As Francis of Assisi said, "Preach the gospel at all times. When necessary, use words."

James said, "Faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead." (James 2:17)

All those things we say we believe, all those principles we say we're about, they're real only when they come to life in what we do.

A character is what he does.




Pastor James "Skip" French is the pastor of Highland Christian Church, 1500 Forest Hills Blvd., Bella Vista. Opinions expressed are those of the author.


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