Chad - also Mr. Weedeater

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All Talk and No Action

Have you ever heard the phrase, “All talk and no action”? It usually refers to the situation when a person talks about a problem or goal and sometimes even goes into considerable detail, but never actually does anything about it.

A couple of months ago, our pastor mentioned in a sermon that when he was young, he would sometimes come up with lofty plans and ideas for doing one thing or another. Often, he’d have things planned out in tremendous detail and could talk about any part of the plan for hours. He often would talk about them for hours to his dad and some of those plans would actually be good ones.

His father was supportive, but usually, things would never get out of the planning and talking stage, so sooner or later, his dad would look at him and say, “Well, you’ve got the talking part done.”

It was such a simple statement, but it was a powerful reminder that nearly all of us occasionally need. Regardless of the plan, goal, issue, or actual problem, so many of us will talk about it incessantly, even if we don’t do it out loud and only in our own minds. Too many times, it will never advance beyond that talking stage, even if we realize that if we never take any action, all the talking will be fruitless.

I’m as guilty of this as anyone else. As a minor example, about a week and a half ago, I talked to my family about the fact that I needed to get more gas in the gas can for my line trimmer (weedeater). I knew that I needed to premix the gas, putting two-stroke oil in the gas and adding fuel stabilizer since our gas contains ethanol.

So, I talked about it. Actually, I talked about it more than once. I talked to myself about it. I even got the two-stroke oil and the fuel stabilizer. Again, I talked about the main component, saying that I needed to get some gasoline so I could mix it up. Guess what? With all of that talking, the gas can is still empty. 

It wasn’t much of an issue when we had a period of rainy weather because I wasn’t likely to be out weed-eating in the rain. However, we’ve had days of good weather since then and I still haven’t taken any action. I got the talking part done. That is all I’ve accomplished in that task, though it is a really minor task.

I know better. In fact, I’m quite aware of an excellent bible scripture that deals with exactly this topic. Proverbs 14:23 says:

All hard work brings a profit, but mere talk leads only to poverty.

The point of the scripture is that if we never progress beyond the talking, we never get anything done. This knowledge has been around a long time. Solomon wrote that over 900 years before Jesus was born. Yet, it is still quite true today.

So, am I going to get gas in the gas can? It is very likely that I will. The biggest question is when. However, I also remind myself of another saying: Actions speak louder than words.

  • Question of

    Do you ever catch yourself talking and talking, but never quite putting the words into actions?

    • Yes, more often than I should
    • Sometimes
    • Not very often
    • No
  • Question of

    Are you aware of other people who have a tendency of talking rather than doing?

    • Yes
    • No
    • I usually don’t pay attention when others do it


What do you think?


Written by Rex Trulove

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  1. My husband is worse; but I do, on occasion, talk with no action behind it. I have a book that I was going to write but never finished it. I had the notes, I had the outline…but never finished it. Sigh.


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