August 2014

One of my hobbies outside of work is watching sports. I’ve inherited this trait from my father, who could watch any sport on TV at any time. I love watching sports because it is real (not like reality TV), unscripted, and very human. One thing though that I cannot stand about sports is trash talking. There are always certain players who love to trash talk and it always seems like they get the most camera time. Nobody wants to interview the humble athlete who is just doing his job. Everybody wants to hear what the trash talker has to say.

What’s amazing about trash talkers are those that can back it up with action. Anybody can trash talk, but certain players have the gift of being able to back up the talking with action. All the basketball players who played against him said Michael Jordan was the biggest trash talker ever. But he backed it up by winning 6 championships! This year the Seattle Seahawks gained notoriety for their trash talking, and went on to dominate the Broncos in the Super Bowl. Those two examples talked the talk and walked the walk.

When it comes to our faith, we know how to talk the talk. We have no hesitation telling people we are Christians, or that we go to church, or that Jesus is our Lord and Savior. Where we struggle, however, is having our actions in life back up our talk. When it comes to the Christian life, we have to walk the walk not just talk the talk.    

The second part of 2 Timothy 2:19 says, “Everyone who names the name of the Lord is to abstain from wickedness.” Do you see the talking and the walking in this verse? If you name the name of the Lord, then that is talking the talk. But if you talk that talk, then you must back it up with staying away from wickedness.

The verse is very clear that we are to abstain from wickedness. It is not ok to dabble with wickedness, or try out wickedness, or be slightly wicked. We are to abstain from wickedness. Some kinds of wickedness that come to mind would be: lying, stealing, cheating, gossiping, complaining, hurting, insulting, etc. Those are all forms of wickedness and those are the things we are to abstain from.

What is at stake is the name of the Lord, as the first part of the quote says. If we go around naming the name of the Lord, then we have to live in such a way that it brings honor to His name, not shame. In Biblical times, they lived in a very shame/honor society. Doing something evil or wrong would embarrass or shame your family name. Honor and respect was held to very high esteem. We can imagine what it would be like for someone to shame their family name, but it goes even deeper for the Christian. We not only have our name, but the name of our Lord. If we name Christ as our Lord that means He is our master, we belong to Him. Any wickedness we do brings dishonor to His glorious name. Imagine how embarrassing it would be to have a servant do something that brought dishonor to his master. We need to think of this the same way for us. Jesus is our Master, we are His servants.

As we go about our everyday life we must consider all of our actions as to how it will affect our testimony of Jesus as our Lord. If it will bring shame or dishonor to our Lord then we must abstain from doing it. Even if the Bible doesn’t specifically say it is wrong, we should still abstain for the sake of the name of our Lord. We have to make sure that in all we do, we must not only talk the talk but walk the walk as well.

Pastor Mark Scialabba