Backing Words with Actions

Inspiration MinistriesBy Inspiration Ministries2 Minutes

As he stood before the crowds at the Minnesota State Fair (on this day in 1901), Vice President Theodore Roosevelt could not have known that he would become president just a few days later (with the assassination of William McKinley). His speech largely is remembered for a phrase that would echo throughout history. Summarizing his philosophy, he quoted an “old proverb” that said, “Speak softly and carry a big stick.”

This phrase came to symbolize his life and presidency. The “big stick” often meant the threat of military action. He often exerted pressure like this when he felt it was justified.

This phrase became famous partly because many people do the opposite: They speak loudly and boldly but don’t back their words with action. Thus, their words lose their impact. And others don’t believe what they say.
Jesus said that we should let our “Yes” be “Yes,” and our “No” be “No” (Matthew 5:37). We only should say words that are true, words that we mean.

We need to realize that others are listening. They can tell if our words are meaningful. Do we exaggerate? Can we be trusted? This doesn’t just apply to our personal character but also our spiritual lives. For we should speak with the authority God has given us. Words of the Spirit.

Today, remember that God has given you a “big stick.” You have the power of His Spirit. You have His Word, and the authority He has given you. But remember to be slow to speak. Be thoughtful, prayerful, and careful. Always ready to back your words with actions. Confident in God, with faith in Him and the power of His Word. Bold to trust Him, flowing in the power of His Spirit.