For those who don’t know me, highly interesting trivia fact about me: I can relate almost anything to Pokemon. Anything. And lately, I’ve been thinking. About the old saying, “Actions speak louder than words,” as well as our our actions can show the world we are Jesus followers, aka Jesus “Freaks”. And you know something? That old saying is absolutely right. (Funny topic for a blog filled with words, huh?)
You see, there’s a particular character in the Pokemon franchise named Red. (Yes, you red right!) He is unique in the fact that he is the only former playable character in the games who actually appears again and you can actually fight him, as the Kanto Champion! He is well known throughout both the Kanto and Johto regions in the games for single-handedly beating all eight Kanto gyms, the Elite Four, dangerous Team Rocket (a Mafia-like crime syndicate whose goal is basically world domination by both money and using, abusing, and brutal experimentation on Pokemon. But they’re a different story; I’ll return to them some other time.), and the newly elected Kanto Champ, his rival, Blue. All without saying a single word (unless you count when you’re playing as him, and have to answer questions to what his name is, and “yes-no” questions). But, how does this speak for Red’s personality– what he’s like?
There are many ways we can do this. One is to let his actions speak all by themselves– we know simply by his accomplishments and by battling him in game that he is an incredibly powerful Trainer. We also know much about him by what his actions say to other people; his mother, in Gold, Silver, Crystal, and their remakes (HeartGold and SoulSilver), laments that Red hasn’t contacted her for quite some time, and she worries about where he is or what he’s up to, but also admits she’s proud of having him for a son. By these words, it is implied that Red seems to be quite independent, raising Pokemon by himself, training constantly under wintery weather atop Mt. Silver (despite being inadequately dressed), and visiting her hardly at all. He is displayed with an even more independent streak, when he crosses from the Kanto-Johto regions all the way to Unova, all by himself.
Another instance of Red showing personality in this way is by Giovanni, Team Rocket’s boss (and something else too, only I won’t give away spoilers for those who haven’t yet played the amazing games of Red, Blue, Yellow, FireRed, or LeafGreen), who comments on Red’s persona in one of Team Rocket’s secret lairs: “I see that you raise Pokemon with utmost care. A child like you would never understand what I hope to achieve.” This heavily indicates that, in sharp contrast to Giovanni’s own personality, which is described by many within the games to be horribly callous and cruel, that Red himself is genuinely compassionate and loves Pokemon. This backs him wanting to put a stop to Team Rocket’s terrible schemes, not simply wanting glory or fame for himself, but to help others. This is why he defeated them, saved the Silph Co. from their takeover, then, after winning the Pokemon League, going off by himself to Mt. Silver to train in solitude– and quite possibly to escape unwanted press attention.
That says a lot about his character, for someone who doesn’t even speak, doesn’t it?
Now, take a good, hard look at yourself. As a person, or even as a Christian (if you’re like me in that aspect, anyway), how many times have you spoken without really thinking? And I don’t mean just impulsively blurting stuff that can be unintentionally hurtful; I mean just speaking in general without giving a lot of thought into it. (Same goes for texting people.) While our words can give a lot of insight of who we are, and what we’re like, we need to be slow to speak, as God’s Word says, and, when we do, be sure to back our words up with actions. Sometimes, as Red has proven, we don’t even need to say anything. Sometimes, it’s only a matter of things like a caring hug, helping someone move, or volunteering your time at Goodwill that will make a truly lasting impact on people. Look again at Red. People certainly don’t remember him for anything he’s spoken–they remember him for saving the region, people, Pokemon, and being a very powerful Trainer.
Now, to fellow believers out there, I want you to take that and place it up with Jesus. Yes, we should take serious note of what He said, and apply it to our lives… but note, He backed up His Words with ACTION. More stories, I’d bet (if I was that type) probably revolve around Him ministering to and healing people– physically and spiritually. In fact, it was the final, most important action of all– Him proving God’s great Love for ALL humankind up by dying upon the cross– that changed the world forever. He is literally God’s WORD that has become FLESH, as Ted Dekker has pointed out to us in his inter-connecting “The Circle” series, proving that God doesn’t just TELL us He loves us– He SHOWS it through Jesus.
Again, allow me to challenge you, all of you out there– Do YOUR actions speak louder than YOUR words?
Artwork credit: http://loika.deviantart.com/art/mountain-top-150586630