Meaningless Action

“Action without reflection is meaningless action.” I wish I knew the source of this quote, shared with me years ago as “from the mystics of old” – because the truths encapsulated within these profound words are worth both our pondering and our application. Flip this statement upside down and the underside is also true: “Reflection without action is meaningless reflection.”

Reflection at its finest should manifest itself in action. Otherwise, it’s navel gazing and insular and left to linger unattended. Attending to the soul by way of contemplation is what leads thoughtful believers into intentional service to others. The Great Commandment—loving God with heart, soul, mind and strength—plus the Second Great Commandment—loving our neighbor as ourselves—is what leads us outward into the Great Commission—as we go, making disciples of all nations.

The Christian community at its healthiest incorporates a balanced approach to our spirituality. Love for God, love for others in the family of God, and love for our unreached neighbors. When we ponder the reality of each aspect of our faith, we are led into further reflection and ultimately into more meaningful action.

Where will your head and your heart lead your hands in service to another? Offer someone a cup of cold water in Jesus’ name today, it’s good for your soul.

This entry also appears on the Conversations Journal Blog.


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Steve Macchia

Founder & President

Steve is a graduate of Northwestern College (IA) and Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary (M.Div. and D.Min.). His prior ministry includes serving on the pastoral staff at Grace Chapel (Lexington, MA) and as president of Vision New England. Since July 1, 2003 Steve has served as founder and president of Leadership Transformations, director of the Pierce Center for Disciple-Building, and adjunct faculty in the Doctor of Ministry department at Gordon-Conwell. He is the author of sixteen books, including The Discerning Life (Zondervan Reflective),  Baker bestseller Becoming a Healthy Church, and Crafting a Rule of Life (IVP). He lives in the Boston area with his wife Ruth and is the proud father of two grown children, Rebekah and Nathan, daughter in-love Ashley, and papa to his beloved granddaughter, Brenna Lynn and twin grandsons, Aiden Joseph and Carson Stephen. “My soul comes alive singing the great hymns of the church and enjoying the beauty of God’s creation. I’m in awe of God for fulfilling the dream for LTI that he birthed in my heart, for the team he has assembled, and the transformational impact experienced in the leaders and teams we serve.

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