Actions Speak Louder Than Words

Browsing at her first booking photo, her face was so clear. She looked healthy, with long, silky hair. This time, her face was thin, worn out, covered with acne and wrinkles etched on her forehead. Her hair brittle and disheveled and had a dull shine. Some of the teeth receded to the gum line. All these features caused by her cyclic use of illegal drugs within a 2-year span of time.

“Ma’am, I told you. I haven’t used street drugs for over a year now,” confessed this same young female inmate, as I wrapped the blood pressure cuff around her thin left arm, trying to get her over-all vital signs.


Her speech was rapid [I couldn’t even cut her off]. She had good eye contact but with an intimidating look as if to summon me to give her the medicines she was requesting earlier. Her behavior was very unpredictable - restless... Had not the deputy been there, she could turn into a violent monster. Though I mentioned before, by God’s grace, no one could terrify me!


Every night, she was down at our clinic, coming up with any physical symptoms she could think of and kept on requesting for some medicines for pain. She had abdominal pain, rectal bleeding, foot pain, and all pains you could think of, because she was hoping she would be given a higher dose of pain medication or even narcotics. She was given Motrin 600 mg. just the day before by the jail doctor. She swore, they didn’t give her any relief. [And I believed that knowing she had increased her need for higher doses of illegal substances in her system].


Her requests for sick call didn’t end at nights. She even would beg to be seen when morning came or P.M. shift came, hoping that with every new nurse, she would find someone who could perhaps, sympathize with her and would give in to her demands.


But as medical professionals, we knew what to look for. Unfortunately, her “talk” of being drug-free for over a year did not seem to match her “actions”. We all knew that she was withdrawing from a long time, habitual use of such illegal substances and her body was craving for them.


Deprived of its use, once incarcerated, physical symptoms started to manifest: chest pain, abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting; not including the emotional problems that went with it – anxiety, fear and the intense longing to get that “high” she used to get while outside.




As Christians, how many times have we heard that phrase: “we should walk the talk?” I admit, I, too, forget this at times and I need to learn a lot in this area. I am a big work at this time and I pray the Lord will continue to mold me.


We must look up to Jesus. He is the only One Who truly “walked His talk”. He said in Matthew 3:8 –“Prove by the way you live that you have really turned from your sins and turned to God.”

In other words, we should examine our behavior. God looks beyond our “talks”. He looks into the intentions of our hearts and through our conducts.

Galatians 6:5 –“We are each responsible for our own conduct.”


Micah 6:8 –“No, O people, the Lord has already told you what is good and this is what He requires: to do what is right, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God.”


John 12:35 –“”If you walk in the darkness, you cannot see where you are going.”

Revelations 3:4 –“Yet even in Sardis there are some who have not soiled their garments with evil deeds. They will walk with Me in white, for they are worthy.”

10 comments:

  1. My heart goes out to these people, many of them just kids, that get started on drugs and end up like the lady you described here. God can rescue her! But it will take her "active participation" in wanting to choose and then walk the path of His righteousness. Ah, what struggles the devil creates for us. Thankfully, the one who is within us is greater than the one who is without. wb

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  2. Amen, we must look within, before we can look outward at others my friend. I love you.

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  3. Amen!!
    Thank you for reminding me of the continual sweeping I must do "under my own door mat" (old southern expression). I am thankful GOD continues to pour out mercy and grace as I grow closer and closer to HIM...all the while refining my walk.
    Love and prayers, andrea

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  4. This brings back memories of my work in an ob-gyn office where gals would call in for meds complaining about their pain. Dr. would not write a script. I join with you in praying for these broken people. May God send His angels to them today to minister salvation.

    I like that comparison you made in our journeys of faith. This makes me think of the word I got this morning, Isa 57:15. God dwells with him who has a contrite spirit and revives us because we humble ourselves before Him.

    You know I love ya,
    Mary

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  5. Rosel,
    You are so right! We must look to Jesus. He is the only one who truly walked the walk while talking the talk. But, if we look to Him, He can empower us to do the same. Amen
    Christy

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  6. The world is a mess, and it's always someone else's fault. Every rational person on the face of the earth knows something is wrong, and every single one is pointing at the next guy saying, "He's to blame." Everyone is an exception. This is our natural moral psychology.

    The gospel pierces our bulletproof self-images, so that the grace of God can pour in with real healing. How? In Romans 1:18-32, Paul confronts Mr. Self-Indulgence, who sees the world as his playground, with no rules but his own appetites and ego. In Romans 2:1-16, Paul confronts Mr. Moral High Ground, who looks at others with scorn and upholds a strict moral code but is always looking for loopholes for himself. In Romans 2:17-29, Paul confronts Mr. Biblical Worldview, who is so sure of himself because he knows the Bible and looks at everyone else with the thought, "Well, I may not be perfect, but at least I KNOW what's right!" But his heart has some very ugly secrets.

    All three human profiles -- Mr. Self-Indulgence, Mr. Moral High Ground, Mr. Biblical Worldview -- are "under sin" (Romans 3:9). There are no exceptions. All need a new heart, created by the Holy Spirit. All need a grace from beyond themselves that flies in under their radar with humbling self-awareness that bows low and says, "I fall short of the glory of God. In fact, there is no justification for my life at all. God, be merciful to me, a sinner." This is the one who is justified by God's grace, as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus.

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  7. Rosel,

    Thanks for another moving story. It's great to know that God see past all the fake facades we can put on to see the true intentions of our hearts!

    It helps to keep us real because nothing gets past God!

    Love and Hugs ~ Kat

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  8. Actions speak louder than words...

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  9. I have to agree with anonymous said above; actions speak louder than words. My husband tells me often love is not what you say . . . it is what you do. So yes my friend . . . as we walk with Christ we must honor His presence by our example. Not just words . . . but the way we live.
    Your sister in Christ,
    Bren

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  10. Once again my heart aches when you tell of the depseration these inmates face. Each of them was once a child with dreams.

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"Faith is taking the first step even if you don't see the whole staircase..."
~ Martin Luther King, Jr.

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Encouragers

The Attacker (5/15/09)

The sun was just peeking from the Eastern skies. Ephesians 6:12 [37 kb]


Out in the prison’s yard, some huge Sheriff’s buses were illuminated by the soft glow coming from the lights all over from the tall lamp posts. Their engines were turned on, warming up, before the buses would take the inmates to the different courts where they would have their trials.


Orange-uniformed men were lined up in pairs, joined together with handcuffs and chained, forming a long line. They already had their breakfast and had their morning medications prior to going to courts. Some were fidgeting, as they waited to board those buses.


All of a sudden, all hell broke loose! Two men were engaged in a fight, using weapons they made secretly for a while. Deputies called for help on the radio, both for custody back-up and medical staff, as well.


When the air was cleared and the other inmates were secured, one man was down on the floor. He sustained multiple gashes but two of them were deep. One cut was vertically etched from his left ear going down to the jaw line. The other dangerous cut was horizontal on his left neck, close to the jugular vein. Pool of blood dripped all over the floor. Holding his bleeding neck, he was pointing at the other inmate few feet away, being guarded by the other deputies.


The other man being accused was not hurt. There were no lacerations nor any other signs of trauma. He was obviously very agitated as he was being questioned by those deputies, while the medical staff started treating the other man on the floor. They cleaned the wounds and controlled the bleeding. That man was sent to the nearby hospital.


When the investigation was finalized, it turned out to be that the “downed man who was accusing the other inmate” was the attacker and the other one who didn’t have injury was the one attacked. The deputies found out that it was the second attempt to attack the unhurt man. Both attacks on him failed. He was well-prepared after the first attempt on him, that when the second attempt was done, he was able to defend himseld and ended up injuring his attacker severely.


[Source: Life Application Bible]:


We also have an “accuser of the brethren.” Satan and his army of demons are the enemies of God and of everything good.


“Because God’s children are human beings – made of flesh and blood – Jesus also became flesh and blood by being born in human form. For only as a human being could he die, and only by dying could he break the power of the Devil, who had the power of death.” –Hebrews 2:14


Because of what Jesus had done [dying on the cross], we, who live in constant fear of death shouldn’t be afraid anymore. Jesus had freed us from that fear so we can live for Him. When we belong to God, we know that death is only the portal that leads into “eternal life”. [“Thank You Lord!].


Paul warned us, too that we also battle against the evil forces of Satan, who is a vicious fighter. But to be able to withstand their attacks, we must depend on God’s strength and use every piece of His armor. We face an army whose goal is to defeat Christ’s church. When we believe in Christ, they become our enemies. They will try any device to turn us away from the Lord.


Fear not! For God has provided His supernatural power to defeat Satan and his army, through His Holy Spirit within us. So, arm yourselves with God’s armor.


Let us be strong in the Lord's mighty power. Let's put on His whole armor to resist the enemy's attacks: put on the sturdy belt of truth and the body armor of God's righteousness. For shoes, put on the peace that comes from the Good News, so that we are well-prepared. We will need faith in every battle as our shield to stop the fiery arrows aimed by Satan and his army. Let us put on salvation as our helmet, not forgetting the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God. Let's pray at all times, on every occasion in the power of the Holy Spirit. We must stay alert and be persistent in our prayers for all Christians everywhere. [Ephesians 6:10-18].

Friends