Mixed Messages

Why do we send mixed messages? I mean in our relationships, at work, in our marriages, with our children and yes even at church. Saying one thing and then doing another. Talking one way and then living or behaving another. Asking to have it one way and then you doing it the opposite. How about saying you love someone and then showing you don’t.

This is an area that has really been jumping out at me lately. People not walking the talk. I really think this is a problem in many relationships today. In our minds we know what is right and good, but somehow it doesn’t reach our heart. It is the heart that dictates our behaviors and our actions.

You see this in the church as well. We say we love all people and want everyone to come to know Jesus Christ. Then our behaviors, our words and our actions don’t line up with that. We speak a language of insiders, we expect everyone to look, dress, talk and act like we do. We put on a friendly outward appearance and then go out and do whatever we want to do. Every church struggles with this problem. The reason I know this, is because the church is made up of people. Imperfect people that send mixed messages. Outsiders see these messages and ask why they should become a part of all that. They don’t get a real good look at Jesus.

I don’t think Jesus ever sent any mixed messages. He spoke the truth and loved people. He attacked the religious people and reached out to the outsiders. He was authentic and real to everyone all the time. He did not pretend everything was great when it wasn’t. He faced temptations and overcame them every time, because of his heart. His heart was pure and full of truth.

A friend of mine told this story about a guy he has gotten to know. His friend was at a restaurant meeting with another friend. This friend was trying to share Jesus with him. He was trying to convince him that he needed Jesus in his life. When the waitress came up this guy ripped her because the last time he was in they got his eggs wrong. When he was done ripping her he turned to his friend and continued to talk about him needing Jesus. That is a mixed message and that small action turned off whatever light had begun to shine.

How about in your marriage or special relationships? Do you disrespect your husband and then expect him to show love to you? Do you demand respect from your wife and then do or say unloving things to her? Do you discipline your children for certain behaviors and then do them yourself? Do you ever catch yourself saying or thinking, “Do as I say, not as I do”?

Do your actions and behaviors line up with your words? Do you ever try to manipulate to get your own way? These are heart questions, is everything OK in your heart? Ask God to help change your heart and stop sending mixed messages.

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