I bet every one of you can think of someone in your life who is ‘all talk.’ The saying dates back to the days where I ruled in wall-ball. If you were all talk, you got pushed to the front to prove your stuff, right there in front of the entire fourth grade line of little Oklahoma kids. It’s inevitable. You talk, you better walk. We’re human, we want to impress one another. The competition of life drives us.
Capitalism. World Championships. Job ranking. Reality TV (barf). Food chains. Advertising. Propaganda. Gyms. Education. Politics. Television networks. Countries across the world. You. Name. It.
Step back and take a look at the race of life. Trace the vine back far enough to find where the competition is rooted. I dare say it… All the way back. To YOU. We can’t deny it! Not one bit! But we also can’t classify it as negativity. It spurs us onward in our education, on our teams, in our business, wherever we may be. Wherever you are in your life, you’re competing, aren’t you? Someone, if not ourselves, is talking and working toward being more qualified, getting better, having more, about to have more, or just being it.
When I peer over the edge of Baylor’s city limits and look into the industry I’m about to immerse myself in, it’s a world of self-promotion. ‘Check out my this’, ‘vote for me here’, ‘look who I met’, ‘how do I look in this’… yadda yadda yadda. Anything to push oneself closer to the ‘top.’ I read tweets, see advertisements and watch commercials with reporters and athletes flaunting their beauty, accomplishments and beliefs. Don’t get me wrong, it’s interesting to hear what they’ve experienced, and I want to be up to date with the latest news on some of the people I consider admirable. But sometimes, I find myself overwhelmed with the constant overbearing outward competition. But soon after that, I find myself overwhelmed with inward security.
“If we live by the Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit. Let us not become conceited, provoking one another, envying one another.” – Galatians 5:25-26
It doesn’t matter if you can rattle off the greatest lines of all time. Or if you’ve mapped out the most embellished plans and intentions for yourself. Life, your reputation and your example – that you set on a daily basis – is not about the ‘talk.’
One of my most passionate hopes for people in this competition of life, is that every person will remain faithful to himself, to his most inner beliefs.
Picture someone that you call admirable in your life. Why do you cherish them and set them apart? Why do you want seek to emulate this person? It sounds dumb, but try it: think of putting a big piece of silver duct tape over this person’s mouth. Day in and day out, if you watched them closely, like you obviously have, I bet you’d still admire this person. Because without his words, without talking himself up or convincing the world of his worthiness, this person has still got it goin’ on. Okay, but seriously – It’s that look in his eyes in spite of this chaotic world – he knows who he is, he knows why he’s here, he knows he has a purpose.
I’ll leave you with this. My belief is in the God that created us to know Him, to experience life abundantly in a RADICAL way, and walk on a separate path than the common ways of the world. Substitute your belief in the quote for whatever you wish, but I hope you won’t.
“The world takes its notion of God most of all from the people who say they belong to God’s family. They read us a great deal more than they read the Bible. In fact, they see us. They only hear about Jesus.” – Alexander McClaren