Alignment – the proper positioning or state of adjustment of parts in relation to each other. According to scripture, just as our heart and mouth are directly related, so are our mouth and our actions. Jesus asked a question in the parable of the two sons: “There was a man who had two sons. He went to the first and said, ‘Son, go and work today in the vineyard.’ ‘I will not,’ he answered, but later he changed his mind and went. Then the father went to the other son and said the same thing. He answered, ‘I will, sir,’ but he did not go. Which of the two did the will of his father?” Matthew 21:28-31 NIV. The chief priests and elders response to Jesus’ question was “The first.” Matthew 21:31. We would give this same response today – the son that did what his father asked him to do – not the one that said he would do it but did nothing.
In Matthew 23:3, Jesus warns about following after those, specifically religious leaders, who only say but not do. Jesus said, “So you must be careful to do everything they tell you. But do not do what they do, for they do not practice what they preach.” Therefore, aligning our actions with what we say we not only are going to do, but also with what we believe, is a necessary adjustment that has to be made in our lives. If we say we are Christians – followers of Christ – then our actions should reflect the heart of the One we say we follow. This has nothing to do with being perfect, because we were never charged to be perfect. However, it has everything to do with integrity and maturity.
Maturity is defined as having reached an advanced stage of mental or emotional development. Maturity plays a large part in aligning our actions with our mouth. If we are moved by our emotions – what we see, feel, or even think – we will be constantly changing our posture instead of standing firmly on what the Word of God says. In Ephesians 4:12-15, Paul teaches that the ministry gifts God set in His Body are for the “perfecting” of the Body or the “maturing” of the Body, so that we “be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind and doctrine… But… may grow up…”
The definition of integrity is the quality of being honest and having strong moral principles. On the other hand, hypocrisy is defined as claiming to have morals and beliefs that your behaviors do not reflect. For example, we say we believe or, we are going to do one thing out of our mouth but our actions are the complete opposite. In Matthew 15:7-8, Jesus addressed the hypocrisy of the religious leaders by referring to a scripture in Isaiah 29:13, “You hypocrites, well did Esaias prophesy of you, saying, ‘This people draw nigh unto me with their mouth, and honor me with their lips; but their heart is far from me.’” We know the “right” things to say, but yet we do not know “Him.” We know the “right” things to say, but yet we do not do what is right. There is no integrity in hypocrisy.
To align our mouth with our actions, we must do what we say we believe; and we must do what we say we are going to do. If we say we believe the report of the Lord (John 12:38), then our actions should line up with what we say we believe. If we say we trust God with our whole heart (Proverbs 3:5), then we should not be living in fear and chaos. If we say we believe that we are in this world but we are not of this world (John 17:14), then we should not be following trends set by the world’s standard. If we say we believe the Word of God is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path (Psalm 119:105), then we should be following the Word and the decisions we make should be based on the Word.