Mixed Messages

How many messages do you receive per day? Words are being thrown at us from every direction between texts, emails, voicemails, conversations, and social media interaction. We rely heavily on our words. Imagine for a moment that you didn't have the ability to convey messages to people through words for one day. The only way for people to understand you is solely based on your actions. What would they see?

Mark Twain said it best, "Actions speak louder than words, but not nearly as often." When you really think about it, it's pretty tragic that our actions and words don't always align, especially those of us who claim to be Christians. The beginning of 2 Timothy talks about how sin will creep into the church in the last days. People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God— having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with such people. Please note that Paul is describing CHRISTIANS. This description is similar to what he writes in Romans 1:21-23 that they knew God but didn't honor God.

This seems to be an issue for us today as well. Too many "Christians" believe and accept that Jesus died for their sins so that they have confidence they'll go to Heaven, but they don't live in obedience to God's word (Matthew 7:21-23). See our faith, while it is personal, was never meant to be private. God's word tells us that others will know you are his followers by your love for others and the fruit that you bear (John 13:35 & Matthew 7:16). Is your faith a bunch of empty words or do your actions back up what you say you believe? Would people be able to tell you are a Christian by watching (not listening to) you? Do you know what God calls you to if you claim to be a Christ-follower? Maybe it's time to pick up that Bible that's collecting dust on your shelf and find out!

I spent the last year reading through the entire Bible and never once did I read anything that instructed us to simply profess our faith but continue to live like the world around us. In fact, it says just the opposite. God calls us to not only be hearers of the word but doers so that we don't deceive ourselves (James 1:22). Faith without action is just a feeling and feelings aren't always reliable. My challenge to us all is to be mindful of what each and every action or decision is portraying to those around us. Ask yourself questions like, "Does this align with what I say I believe?" "Does this bring glory to God?" "Will this cause confusion or damage my witness?" Mixed messages have the ability to cause serious harm to both your relationship with God and others so it's important to make sure that your actions align with your words. This time of year it's especially important to live out the gospel and not only tell people what Christmas is all about but also "let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth" (1 John 3:18).

 Whoever says “I know him” but does not keep his commandments is a liar, and the truth is not in him 
- 1 John 2:4

They claim to know God, but by their actions they deny him. They are detestable, disobedient and unfit for doing anything good.
- Titus 1:16

Live as people who are free, not using your freedom as a cover-up for evil, but living as servants of God.
- 1 Peter 2:16

Whoever has my commands and keeps them is the one who loves me. The one who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love them and show myself to them.
- John 14:21

Photography by Justin James

While mixed messages are harmful in terms of your faith, when it comes to fashion it's a totally different story! I absolutely love mixing and matching especially different prints and colors. One of my favorite ways to do this is with plaid and animal print. In this outfit I also pulled together black and tan to show that (despite the idea that somehow got ingrained in us that black and brown don't match) they do in fact go together so beautifully! Oh and I can't forget to mention how fab this deeeeep purple lip stain from Chanel is and how it adds a totally different element to this look. What I love about fashion is that almost anything goes and as long as you feel good and exude confidence, no one will question your "mixed message" look. 

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