|Cathedral at York in York, England|
Recently, I attended an event where I talked with a number of people. The conversation came around to whether a certain person had faith in Christ. Someone spoke up and said, "Of course, they are a believer." I pondered over that remark. Just saying you believe is not enough. Life evidence goes along with the belief. We must practice what we believe or we are just uttering platitudes. For example, my husband is a practicing optometric physician. This means he is putting into effect all he was trained to do when diagnosing and treating vision problems. He also continues to study on a yearly basis so he can grow in knowledge and improve his "practice". I feel that this is also the way Christians need to think of their walk with Christ. We need to be practicing followers of the Lord not just "believers".
|Lincoln Cathedral Window|
While these verses in James have created some controversy and misunderstanding, I find in them a balance. James makes it clear that faith motivates us to good works. Abraham put feet to his faith by obeying God and doing what the Lord instructed him to do with his son Isaac. Today, "easy believe-ism"
would have us think that putting our faith into practice by doing good works is not necessary. However, that leads to an empty faith. As James wrote, "even the demons believe - and shudder!" It is one thing to say, "I am a believer". It is another thing to live it out on a daily basis.
My mother's favorite advice to me was "Actions speak louder than words." She was right. What we believe in our heart should be put into practical application in our daily activities. If we never attend church, do not read our Bible or pray, we ought to ask ourselves if we have given our lives in commitment to Christ. If we see a friend or family member who says they believe but never demonstrates their faith, then, in love, we need to sit down and talk with them. Belief in Christ plus good works done as a result of grateful obedience for what Christ has done for us equals a powerful witness that others can see. We are, after all, to glorify God by our good deeds.
|Cathedral at Lincoln, England|
I welcome your thoughts and insights here. Please feel free to share with me as an encouragement to me and to other readers.