Our first house was on three-quarters of an acre. It sloped into a nice size backyard that bordered on a small forest of its own. Along the front of the property was a brook that meandered over rocks and created its own music.

This was the perfect place to raise our three sons who loved the outdoors. However, it was also the ideal place for them to learn responsibility.

With Dad working a fair distance away and me keeping house along with other responsibilities, it was imperative that the boys help out according to their age and abilities.

Yard work was the first area where they could be outdoors and still accomplish something to help Dad. Most often it was on the weekends when Dad was home. He taught the oldest how to use the lawn mower and he got to work. However, the other two complained it wasn’t fair.

In their eyes, mowing rated much higher than pulling weeds or raking fall leaves (until they were finally next in line to mow and did it a few times … then their tunes changed).

And, so, after instructions were given, we sometimes left them to themselves to accomplish the tasks while Ken and I got to work on something else. For a while, the whine of the mower and swish of rakes let us know that the work was being done.

Eventually, though, the sounds we heard had nothing to do with their assigned tasks. And it wasn’t uncommon to hear one of us say, “OK. Enough play. Get to work.”

You know, we can profess our faith in God and for a time sound like faithful Christians. But eventually, those words need to translate into actions. Otherwise, they are like the dandelion that sprouts up in your yard and soon turns fuzzy and blows away on the nearest breeze.

I recently heard it said that a faith that works is a faith that works.

In Ephesians 2:10 NKJV we read these words: “For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.”

Therefore, our faith should be accompanied by God-glorifying actions. It may be a simple walk across the street to be kind to a neighbor. It can be a word of encouragement to a grocery store clerk or require a reach that exceeds your grasp.

“But be doers of the word,” says James 1: 22, “and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves.”

As we walk by faith and obedience, our walk and talk will harmonize. Selah

Jan Merop, a columnist with the Highlands News-Sun for 29 years, resided in Sebring for 28 years; now living in North Carolina. Visit her blog Journeying with Jan @ pauseandconsider.net.