More Than Words
"What good is it, dear brothers and sisters, if you say you have faith but don’t show it by your actions? Can that kind of faith save anyone? Suppose you see a brother or sister who has no food or clothing, and you say, “Good-bye and have a good day; stay warm and eat well”—but then you don’t give that person any food or clothing. What good does that do? So you see, faith by itself isn’t enough. Unless it produces good deeds, it is dead and useless." James 2:14-17 (NLT)
Years ago, when I wrestled at West Virginia University, one of my coaches was a World Champion and Olympian - Nate Carr. Nate would often give our pre-practice and pre-match speeches. He was famous for saying, “Don't tell me you are going to be a National Champion, show me!” Nate was letting us know that words are meaningless if not backed up and proven genuine with action. It was easy for us to say we wanted to be National Champions, but were we willing to put in the time, hard work, and sacrifice necessary. And if we did, then our actions matched our words. This is exactly what James was saying to the people who would read his letter. At that time, just like today, there were people who would gladly and easily proclaim that they were Jesus Followers. You know what that sounds like - “Yes, I believe in Jesus.” “Sure, I’m a Christian.” “I totally believe in God.” See how easy that is. James was saying that people who confess they are Jesus Followers but don’t do what Jesus did, simply are not. Just like I have never met a National Champion (and I have met many) who didn’t have actions and habits consistent with all national champions; James never met a Jesus Follower who didn’t live and love like Jesus. James was saying, don’t just tell me you are a Jesus Follower, show me! A confession without the evidence of genuine faith and a relationship with Jesus (Life Change) is just words. A true Follower's faith declaration will always be backed up with the evidence of a life changed (not perfection). People are not impressed with Lip-service and neither is God. Ask the LORD to make your confession a reality, so that, your words and actions are consistent.