Talking the Walk or Walking the Talk?
January 28, 2011 § Leave a comment
The prophet Micah spoke to very religious people who publicly paid loud lip service to their religion (Micah 3). So it must have been a shock to them when Micah summoned them to God’s legal case against them (Micah 6:1-5). The people’s reply to God’s charges against them includes no attempt to defend themselves (Micah 6:6-7). Deep down they know they are guilty. Instead, they try to figure out if they can please God by paying Him off: “With what shall I come before the Lord”? (6:6). They hope they can come up with some sacrificial offerings that will make up for their transgressions (6:7). As some writer commented so well, what we have here is an attempt “to appease God through a form of score-keeping that tries to put a price tag on God’s mercy.” But God wants none of that. We can’t get away by just writing a check. God requires something different from the usual talking-the-walk kind of religion. What God requires is “to act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God” (6:8). We cannot keep God off our backs by checking off some prescribed religious practices. We are called to walk the talk with a lifestyle of love, mercy, and justice for each other and the world. How are we doing with that?