In ancient Greek dramas, a person behind a curtain spoke the lines while the performer on stage acted out the role. We might refer to the speaker behind the scenes as one who didn’t “practice what he preached.”
This person behind the curtain reminds me of a problem we as Christians experience today. Many of us are skilled at sounding religious, but we don’t put our words into action. This is hypocrisy.
When there is a discrepancy between what we say and what we do, we create confusion in the minds of our “audience.” That’s why many nonbelievers do not take the gospel message seriously.
A Christian who makes the greatest impact on a watching world, and who furthers the cause of Christ, is one whose actions harmonize with his speech. When James spoke of the “wisdom that is from above,” he described it as “pure, then peaceable, gentle, willing to yield, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality and without hypocrisy” (3:17).
Our role as Christians is vastly different from the ancient Greek actors. They had speakers who didn’t do and doers who didn’t speak. We are to be people who speak and do the truth!
You’re writing a “gospel,” a chapter each day,
By the deeds that you do, by the words that you say;
Men read what you write, whether faithless or true—
Say, what is the “gospel” according to you? —Gilbert
When actions and words agree, the message is loud and clear.