Scotty Love is back to answer the question: is it better to say you’ll pray for someone, or to actually do it?
Men of Action
Key Scripture: Matthew 21:28-32, Matthew 5:33-37.
How good are you at delegating things to other people? Do you trust others to get things done, or do you prefer to do it all on your own?
How does it feel when someone says they will do something and let you down?
Have you ever dropped the ball on an important task? What did (or didn’t) you do, and what happened as a result?
Are you all talk, or are you a man of action? It’s one thing to say you’re going to do something, but it’s quite another to follow through. The world is full of people who make empty promises they will never fulfill, and the church has more than a few empty talkers as well.
God wants us to be men of action. When we say we’re going to pray for someone, we will. When we say we will be some place, we show up. We don’t say yes out of obligation and look for excuses to back out later, and we don’t give a half-hearted effort. When we say yes, we mean yes. We show up and we take care of business not because we want a reward, but because we are men of action!
READ AND DISCUSS
Read Matthew 21:28-32
Why was the man in this story more pleased with the son who said he wouldn’t help?
In what way did the Pharisees fail to do what they pledged they would do for God?
What was Jesus trying to tell the Pharisees – and us – in this parable?
Read Matthew 5:33-37
How does Jesus want us to answer requests from others?
Why do you think Jesus said we should not swear oaths or make vows?
What does God want to see us do rather than making promises?
How often do you say you will pray someone and you never do?
How often do you say yes to something only to back out or drop the ball later?
How can saying “Yes” and backing out later hurt our witness for Christ?
When people say yes and don’t mean it, there is usually a reason. Some are people pleasers. Some are just following the crowd. Some are afraid to say no, and some are just being polite. What causes you to say yes when you’d rather say no?
Why do you think saying “No” is such a struggle for people in general?
Is it ever okay to say “No” to praying for someone? How can we make sure that particular yes is one we always fulfill?
When people ask for more than prayer, how can we gracefully say “No” when we need to say no?
At the end of the day, what do you think makes more impact – telling someone we will help, or actually helping out?
God didn’t call us to be people of words. He wants us to be men of action. When you say yes, don’t look for excuses, and don’t give a half-hearted effort. Let your yes be yes, and follow through.
Don’t over-commit yourself, and be honest from the start when you are unable to lend a hand. As Jesus said, it’s better to say no and then help out than to let someone down with a polite yes.
In the words of St. Francis of Assisi, “Preach the Gospel at all times and when necessary use words.” Don’t be a man of empty words. Preach the gospel by your actions!
Make us men who do what we say, and do everything we undertake as if we were working for you. Forgive us for the times we fall short. Teach us to say no when necessary, and use us to spread your Word through our actions.
In Jesus’s name,