No Words Needed by Louisa Guzman
What does this picture tell you? You can't see the woman's face but I just know that her expression must be one of complete awe. There are no words needed. That isn’t me in the picture, but it could very well be.
Psalm 19, verses 1-4 say that: The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of His hands! Day after day they pour forth speech. They have no speech, they use no words. Yet their voice goes out into all the earth.
When I’m surrounded by nature I’m most aware of God’s majesty and power. If you’re not a nature lover, I urge you to give it another try because God can definitely speak to you in a mighty way through his glorious creations. That’s why walking on the boardwalk or by the water’s edge is one of my most favorite things to do. It’s when I have my best conversations with God. And have you ever been on the beach when it’s snowing? It is simply breathtaking! There’s a quiet and stillness while the snow is falling, yet the ocean roars in the background – kind of like our God!
Now take a look at these pictures and think about what each one says to you:
For me, the first is saying “it takes a lot of work to obtain pretty hair!” The second one - “Really? I don’t think so”. The third one speaks to me of innocent fun, refreshment, much needed laughter, friendship – the kind of fellowship God longs for us to have.
In this last one I am vicariously experiencing sheer joy, total abandonment – the kind of joy described in 1 Peter 1:8, “…you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy”.
Notice how we can all look at the same pictures but we all see something completely different.
That’s the way it is when we look at people.
Ever meet someone for the first time and you haven’t had a conversation yet, but you've already formed an opinion of them? Or your friend may know someone they can’t stop talking about. The person sounds like a super hero. Then you meet them and you think, “what’s the big deal?” Or worse, you might not even like them.
Aren’t we fortunate that God doesn’t look at us that way!
1 Samuel 16:7 says that “the Lord does not look at the things people look at…the Lord looks at the interior – He looks at the heart.”
That verse also reminds us that people look at the outward appearance. That's why it’s important to consider the instructions in 1 Timothy 2:10. This isn’t to say we can’t make ourselves look beautiful, but more importantly we need to clothe ourselves with good deeds that provide a picture to non-believers of who Jesus is. And, don’t forget that 1 Corinthians 6:20 also reminds us that we should honor God with our bodies, so whatever we do or say should always bring glory to God.
Many of us post pictures and stories about ourselves on social media and usually get our intended message across. But have you ever posted something that got totally misconstrued? I certainly have innocently posted things that I thought were perfectly clear that have received strong criticism from people who completely misunderstood my intention.
One of my favorite ways to describe myself is “what you see is what you get”, and for the most part, that’s exactly right. If someone looked at my social media pages right now they would probably deduce that I’m the crazy cat lady who loves the ocean. But would anyone know that I believe in Jesus? If a stranger looked through your Facebook or Instagram timeline, or your Pinterest boards, what picture of you do you think they would form in their minds? Who would they say you are, based on what they see? Would that picture reflect who Jesus is to someone who doesn’t know Him?
Proverbs 31:26 says we should speak with wisdom and that faithful instruction should be on our tongues. But what if you couldn’t speak? What would your actions say? A picture is worth a thousand words. Does your life present a picture that’s worth a thousand words about Jesus?
Where I work I’m not allowed to speak about or display any form of religion, so I really don’t ever talk to anyone there about Jesus. But I wonder, does the way I act and speak reveal that I am a child of God? Do my neighbors know by the way I treat them, that Jesus is my Lord and Savior? Well, yes, actually, because 1 Peter 3:1 says that if any of them do not believe the word, they may be won over without words by their behavior.
Spring is here – it’s the season of fresh new beginnings. We are also in the season of Lent, which signals the death and resurrection of Christ and new beginnings for believers.
Have you decided what you’re giving up for Lent? I have never been able to give up sweets for Lent because my birthday falls during Lent, and I do need to have my cake! In recent years I’ve given up things like Facebook or limiting TV, but are those really sacrifices that bring me closer to Christ? If I don't say anything to anyone about it, would they know I’m a believer and that I've made that sacrifice for Jesus? So I thought, instead of giving something up this year for Lent, I have made this a period of preparation for a new beginning, a better me – a me that reflects Jesus – in everything: my words and actions, my thoughts, the way I pray, and hopefully, in my social media posts. And when you change, He “will do a new thing!” [Isaiah 43: 18-19]
Just as the time changed signaling the coming of Spring, let’s welcome the new season and celebrate the resurrected Christ by ‘springing forth’ and becoming new creations. After all, that's why Jesus sacrificed Himself on the cross, and He did it without hardly saying a word. When you look at the cross today, no words are needed.
Let your life demonstrate the sacrifice of the cross in a way that no explanations are needed. Make Lent count.
No words needed!