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Talk is Cheap

Talk is cheap?

Depends on who’s talking. In 2007, former British prime minister Tony Blair was paid $500,000 for a single speech to a Chinese property development company. At a normal speech rate of 150 words per minute, he would utter 4500 words in a 30 minute speech, netting roughly $111 per word.

Some talk isn’t so cheap. It’s especially expensive if it replaces action. Countless young people talk about furthering their education. But for many, it’s just talk. And it costs them plenty. On average, a person with a high school diploma can expect to earn nearly $1 million less over a lifetime than someone with a college degree (according to the Social Security Administration). Talking about adding a graduate degree earns nothing. Getting the degree adds another half million or so to your lifetime earnings.

Talk is costly in marriage, too. Many talk about loving their spouse. Couples make grand promises to love each other faithfully through thick and thin “till death do us part.” But if it’s all talk instead of actually living out that kind of love, the emotional cost (and often the financial cost) is enormous.

The one place where talk is most expensive if it replaces action is in our relationship with God. Most Americans talk about being Christian. Over 76% self-identify as Christian, according to Gallup (2016). But actually living like Christ did – avoiding sin, loving neighbors and enemies, putting the needs of others first, etc. - that gets harder. Only 51% of us rate religion as “very important” in life (Gallup, 2018). It would seem that for nearly 1/4 of Christians, maybe it’s just talk.

Employers don’t give raises to those who only talk about getting more education. Spouses are not happy with a mate who says, “I love you” but doesn’t show it. Yet somehow we seem to expect God to be satisfied with us even if all we do is talk.

Jesus said, "Not everyone who says to me, `Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.

Talk without action can be very expensive. Lord, help me do your will, not just talk about it.


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