Athletes are ridiculed who “talk” a good game, but who cannot deliver on the field of play. He can “talk the talk,” but can he “walk the walk”? In other words, will he back up his words with action? Regardless of what one thought of him, Muhammad Ali could “talk the talk and walk the walk!”
God is looking for such people (Psa. 15:2; 51:6). He is looking for those who not only can tell the gospel story but also for those who will live it. “My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth (1 Jn. 3:18). That is a problem for every Christian. Often it is easier to preach a sermon than it is to live it. Preachers are not immune! Even Paul recognized that after he had preached to others that he himself might become a “castaway” (1 Cor. 9:27).
My words may “talk the talk” of noble intentions and of a virtuous life. What, though, does my behavior reveal? You may fool me. I may deceive you, but neither of us can mislead the Lord (Psa. 139)! Yes, tell me wonderful things. Inspire me with words of godly wisdom. “Talk the talk.” Tell others, but do not forget to “walk the walk,” to live the truth. Let your heart be filled with integrity and your inner man with purity (2 Cor. 7:1). He who searches your heart and mine knows the truth (Eccl. 12:14; 1 Cor. 4:3-5). “Be not deceived; God is not mocked” (Gal. 6:7).
—Larry Ray Hafley; www.biblework.com