What does it mean to trust behavior over words? Behavior trumps words. If someone tells you one thing, but their behavior does not coincide with their words, believe the behavior.
Jesus told a story in Matthew 21:28-31 about a man with two sons. Dad asked the first son to go to work, and the son said he would not. Dad asked the second son the same thing, and this son said he would absolutely.
Jesus explains that the first son felt bad, repented, and went to work in the vineyard. The second son went on his merry way, never lifting a finger.
Jesus said the one that followed through with the behavior fulfilled the will of the Father.
Some people will tell you anything you want to hear. The idea is to make you feel good at the moment. Sometimes it’s to get you off their back. Whether consciously or not, this is their pattern.
I’ve been told many things about individuals whose behavior does not match their words. “He has a good heart.” “She is a good person.” “He said he will stop doing that from now on.” “I know they mean well.” Etc.
Ideally, it’s good when the behavior matches the words. Typically, we want to believe what we are told. We want to believe the words. But, as I was told as a child, the proof is in the pudding.
Too many times, we believe the words of the second son Jesus mentioned. Whether it’s dealing with an addict or a temperament trait, if what you hear is not what you see behaviorally, then trust what you see.
To do otherwise will open up resentment, frustration, anger, bitterness, and more.
That’s it. This is the only point I wish to convey. Trust behavior over words!
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