Talk is very cheap. The words in our mouths are less than a dime a dozen. A man named Pat had been in a bad motorcycle accident. His injuries were so bad he had to stay in the hospital for six months. When I visited him, he told me, “When I get out, I’ll be in church every time the doors are open.”

I’m sure you can guess what happened later: God helped him recover so that he was released from the hospital. He came out to church once, and then I never heard from him again.

It’s easy for us to make promises and then forget to follow through on them. Other things come up that we feel are more important. (Or what’s worse, we didn’t really mean what we said in the first place.) God wants us to be known for our integrity. In the Bible, this is called being “perfect in heart.” We see this description used of men such as Noah, Job, King David, King Asa, and King Hezekiah. The term doesn’t mean they were free from sin, but their hearts were right with God. If you read their stories, you will find that they were men of godly character who meant what they said and walked like they talked. They didn’t get that way overnight, however. By consistently practicing what was right, the right words and actions became ingrained in them. The more they proved themselves faithful, the more others took notice. Before long, they had earned a good reputation.

Talk is very cheap. When you say you’re going to do something, would anyone be sold on what you tell them? God knows your heart better than anyone else. I hope you will do your best to walk and talk perfectly before Him this day.

Devotional by Dr. James A. Scudder