Bob Tamasy: "Show and Tell" All Over Again

Monday, July 15, 2013 - by Bob Tamasy
Bob Tamasy
Bob Tamasy

Do you remember “show and tell” day? I’m not sure they still do that in schools, but “back in the day” we had show-and-tell once a week. As I recall, it was optional and whoever thought to bring something in got to go in front of the class with their chosen item, show it off, and then tell about it.

Weapons weren’t an issue in schools in those days, so there was no concern little Billy would bring in dad’s pistol, shotgun or prize hunting knife. Most of the time featured items were things like stamp collections, favorite dolls and stuffed animals, plastic dinosaurs, something from grandma’s memorabilia, model cars and airplanes, maybe a live hamster or gerbil. I don’t think pythons were permitted.

The rules were simple: If you brought something from home at the appointed hour the teacher would call on you to walk before the class, show the item of your choice, and tell whatever you wanted about it.

Being shy, I think I “forgot” to bring something to class most of the time, but do remember taking my dad’s wartime medals to school once and explaining what each represented.

The single stipulation of this activity was it had two parts: Show – and Tell. You couldn’t go forward, face the class, and just tell them about something you left at home. And you couldn’t just show the items; you had to say something about them. It definitely was not show-or-tell. It was both-and, not either-or.

As I ponder what we often call the “Christian faith,” it occurs to me that it, too, is show-and-tell.

Over the years I’ve taken part in evangelistic conferences, events and training programs, and most of the time the emphasis is on the words: How to say the right things, or how to say things right, hopefully to persuade the hearer.

Speakers at these activities often refer to “witnessing.” What strikes me about this, however, is the Bible rarely uses “witness” as a verb. It says we are to “bear witness” (a noun) – in other words, carry testimony about our faith to those that will listen. In most cases, the Scriptures use witness not as something believers do, but rather what they are.

For instance, in Acts 1:8 we find Jesus’ exhortation to His followers: “And you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” He also instructed them, “…let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven” (Matthew 5:16).

People within the Christian culture have become skilled in using the words of the Gospel, but perhaps one reason we’re not more effective is because of a lack of emphasis on the works of the Gospel. As someone been said, if your walk doesn’t equal your talk, the less you say the better.

An overbearing employer professing to be a follower of Christ, for example, that doesn’t treat employees with fairness, compassion, sensitivity and understanding isn’t likely to be listened to when she talks about Jesus. An employee that’s always telling people about Christ, but fails to do his work diligently and with excellence, undermines his own witness.

A husband might be a pillar in his church, but if he abuses or demeans his wife or children, he has no platform from which to speak about Jesus – at home or in public. And a physician that often talks about her faith, but uses coarse language or demonstrates a lack of personal integrity, conceals the light He wants her to shine.

We need to ask ourselves, “How’s my show-and-tell?” Whether at work, in our homes, in a restaurant, on a golf course, sports arena or wherever we happen to be – are our actions speaking louder than our words? If accused in a court of law about our “witness,” would there be enough evidence to convict us?

---

Robert J. Tamasy is a veteran journalist, a former newspaper editor and magazine editor. He is presently vice president of communications for Leaders Legacy, Inc., a non-profit focused on mentoring and coaching business and professional leaders. Bob has written hundreds of magazine articles, and has authored, co-authored and edited more than 15 books. These include “Tufting Legacies,” “The Heart of Mentoring,” “Business at Its Best,” and “Pursuing Life With a Shepherd’s Heart.” He edits a weekly business meditation, “Monday Manna,” which is translated into more than 20 languages and distributed via email around the world by CBMC International. He also posts regularly on two blogs, www.bobtamasy.blogspot.com, and www.bobtamasy.wordpress.com. He can be emailed at btamasy@comcast.net.


Shadrix Trio Plays At Bethesda Baptist Oct. 12

Shadrix Trio is playing a live concert at Bethesda Baptist Church on Oct. 12, at 6 p.m. Bethesda Baptist Church is at 600 Highway 151 in LaFayette.  For more information call 706.620-2066.  The concert is free.  Review for Shadrix Trio: From Northwest Georgia, the Shadrix Trio is a young, exciting, anointed ministry that has been traveling throughout the United ... (click for more)

Hickory Valley Christian Church Hosts "Takin' It To The Streets"

Hickory Valley Christian Church is hosting “Takin’ it to the Streets” on Oct. 12 from 5-7 p.m. It will take place at the Bi-Lo on the corner of Lee Highway and Shallowford Road, 6951 Lee Highway. Activities will include carnival-style games, candy, prizes, face painting, an inflatable obstacle course, and a live band playing family-friendly  hits from the 60s to today. ... (click for more)

3 People Shot On Wilson Street; One Victim Has "Life-Threatening" Wounds

Three people were shot on Wilson Street on Sunday night, including one who was critically injured. At approximately 8:22 p.m., Chattanooga Police responded to 2300 Wilson St. for shots fired in the area. O fficers located two black males suffering from apparent gunshot wounds. O ne victim was transported by HCEMS to a local hospital for non-life threatening injuries. ... (click for more)

Jumoke Johnson Jr. To Plead Guilty On Selling Crack Cocaine

A youth who was in the news earlier as a teen who had been the first in his family to graduate from Brainerd High School and who found a patron willing to pay for his college education is set to plead guilty on Tuesday to a charge of selling crack cocaine. Jumoke Johnson Jr., who turned 21 on Saturday, dropped out of Miles College in Alabama after one semester and has been ... (click for more)

Conservation On Signal Mountain

The town of Signal Mountain appointed a working group to put together a conservation easement to protect certain of the town's park lands.  The members of the Conservation Easement Working Group would like to respond to concerns and comments raised about the town’s efforts to protect certain park land from residential or commercial development by granting a conservation ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: A Late Garden Walk

Due to a series of pressing events I didn’t get a chance to make my September walk through the garden until yesterday. It is normally my custom to take a stroll on the first day of each new month, looking for the orchids and onions that might appear, so I can award them to those among us who deserve one or the other. So before the temperatures drop, allow me to catch up: AN ORCHID ... (click for more)