In the early 1950’s there was a TV series called “Dragnet”. Jack Webb played Sgt. Joe Friday who, with his partner Officer Frank Smith, took on crime in L.A. Each episode began with this opening line…. “Ladies and gentlemen: the story you are about to hear is true. Only the names have been changed to protect the innocent….. ….Dun da dunt da…dun da dunt da … dooooon”. (Famous theme song)
Joe Friday was a “no nonsense guy” who didn’t tolerate any funny business”. One of his famous lines was “just the facts ma’am…stick to the facts”.
Joe knew that “actions (facts) speak louder than words.” It’s said that Abraham Lincoln first used this phrase in 1856. (Abe was another smart cookie)
Today it seems harder and harder to get to the facts. What is the reality of a situation? What’s really being said…what does a person really believe. We’ve often heard that “talk is cheap”. So what are we to do if you can’t rely on talk…if you can’t be sure what is being said is true. Well, you need to do a little investigation and determine if the “actions support what is being said.” Often people say one thing, but do another. If you want to know what someone believes, you need to look at their actions (their track record, the facts). We need to look beyond style and mannerisms. If you had the choice going into serious surgery between a “very nice and compassionate, but mediocre surgeon” or a “brusque or even discourteous, excellent surgeon”…. who would you choose? Hmmm, I think I’d rather have a beer with the friendly, witty one, but have the crabby one do my surgery.
Well, that may be some things to consider as we’re evaluating others…politicians, doctors, attorneys, tradesmen, ….. but what about you and me.
Billy Graham used to ask this question during his Crusades…” If you were arrested for being a Christian, would there be enough evidence to convict you?” The jury would look at the evidence, not what you said, but what you did, your actions, and make a determination. So, we each need to study our own actions, our own life and see if our actions tell us who we are. I hope they do. The worst think in the world is to kid ourselves about who we are. I can say that “I believe this…I profess this, I’m this”…but do my actions back that up? Hmmmmmmm.
So, we’re in the season of elections and we need to “look at the facts” and the track records and make our decision. But, let’s don’t allow ourselves to get off the hook. We need to look at the facts of our own life and see how we’re doing . What does our track record say about us? If we’re moving in the right direction…keep going. If we aren’t, then let’s make some changes. Let’s generate some new evidence that will convict us of being a Christian at the final judgement.