If you are reading this Bible or Not post, then at this very moment, wherever you are, whether conciously or unconciously, you have made the decision that this is the most important thing for you to be doing, at this moment in time. Your action of reading, is born out of the belief that what I’m writing is worthwhile enough to read (oh, I really hope so). Likewise, my action of writing, is born out of the belief that it will in some way benefit someone, directly or indirectly.
EVERYTHING we do is based upon the FACT that our actions are based upon what we believe to be true – action is born of belief.
Let’s take something simple, like making a phone call. If you pick up your phone and call me, you likely believe that I will answer if I am available. If I am not available you will leave me a voice mail message only if you believe that I will listen to it and return the call. If you believe that I don’t answer your calls, or listen to voice mail, you will likely try to reach me a different way, or in other words, your action will change based upon what you believe. This is common sense, no?
It is no different in our faith, and this point is made crystal clear by the Bible in the Book of James – faith without works is dead.
“But do you want to know, O foolish man, that faith without works is dead?” – James 2:20 (New King James Version)
I have run across many a Christian who beat the “saved by grace and not of works” drum to justify ungodly behavior. I have also encountered those who follow this mantra alone, are sincere and godly, but really believe that what we do does not matter. The former are hypocrites, the latter have not made the connection between belief and action, or in other words, the connection between faith and works. The Amplified version of the Bible makes this connection more explicit:
“Are you willing to be shown [proof], you foolish (unproductive, spiritually deficient) fellow, that faith apart from [good] works is inactive and ineffective and worthless?” – James 2:20 (Amplified Bible)
Whether we realize it or not, every action we take is born out of what we believe to be true. If you want to know what someone truly believes, just watch what they do (I’m not asking you to judge others here). Someone who lies, clearly believes that it is better to lie than to tell the truth in that instance. Someone who visits the sick clearly believes that there is value in it. Those who believe that God hears prayers will pray, those who do not will not.
Let’s now look in the mirror. What do you believe in? How is your faith displayed by your works? Read the passsage in James a little further: “Show me your faith without your works, and I will show you my faith by my works”. Action (works) is born out of belief (faith), and faith without works is dead.
Please share your thoughts by leaving a comment.