Last month the Archdiocese of New Orleans announced the opening of their first offices on the Northshore. With the announcement came the stat that 91,000 Catholics live in St. Tammany Parish. With the population estimates at 261,000, that’s about 35% of the population. However, almost 50% of the population when polled claim to be Catholic. 22% claim to be Baptist, but actual attendance roles show only 7% of the population actually attending a Baptist Church at least 3 out of 8 weeks (3.3% weekly for Southern Baptist). Dave Olson’s research of actual attendance roles reveals that 24% of St. Tammany residents attend some kind of church at least once per month, but 64% claim to attend church at least once per month in our recent opinion poll.
Researchers call this the Halo Effect. We tend to give ourselves credit for our intentions when asked without knowledge of ability to fact check. Same holds true for voting. If polled 10-25% more people say they voted then actually did each election according to the voting rolls.
Question: What if we actually followed through on our best intentions? What if we actually did what we give ourselves credit for? What if we actually lived what we believe to be right and best for our families? Would the world be different? Would I be different? Would anything change? Is there a gap between your intentions and your actions?
James 4:17 says, “whoever knows the right thing to do and fails to do it, for him it is sin.”
Jesus can give us the power to close the gaps and live with intentionality, not just good intentions.