"Actions speak louder than words."
"Preach the gospel at all times, when necessary use words."
There is consensus in common and biblical wisdom on the value of actions over words. We can say a whole lot without saying anything at all, but even small acts can speak volumes. Many of us have been victims of a broken promise. Most of us have been disappointed by empty words. When words are not accompanied with action, trust is diminished. On the other hand, if our words are consistently paired with action, trust is built.
The Hebrew Scriptures account for times when God spoke to human beings. The primary mode of God's speech was promise. But in time, as the book of Hebrews says, God spoke through Jesus (see Hebrews 1:1 ff.). God spoke through the life of Jesus. While the gospels are full of Jesus' words, his speech is always accompanied with action. His proclamation of the good news was matched with compassionate care for the sick and sinner, outsider and outcast. He spoke good news, but he was good news to those who needed to hear and see it. God's promises of old were kept in the concrete action of Jesus Christ.
We must learn to say less and do more. As community organizers sometimes say, "show up and shut up." Our presence is far more important than our words. We are often so anxious about having the right words for the right situations, but what really matters is the time and shape of our presence.
We can say all day what we value and love. Yet, what we really love and value can be seen simply by looking back on what we do each day. Take a moment and examine what you did yesterday and see what it says about you. Take another moment to commit to an act or two that will say what you really want known about you.