“Show me your faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by my deeds.”
– James 2:18
I have always liked the book of James, mostly because it speaks to our need to have our faith expressed in real ways. Some have had issue with it because it seems to lean towards earning our faith by what we do. This however, is not the reality. The reality is that if we have faith, it must express itself in what we do and how we live. We cannot have (or rather do not have) faith when it exists only in our minds and hearts, it must spill over into our hands and feet. What we do (our deeds) are evidence of what we believe. If we profess the love and grace of Jesus, how then are we living it?
There is so much evidence of this in the bible. One of the main judgements God had against Israel was their exploitation and abuse of the weak and powerless. They were not reflecting the character of God in how they lived. They identified themselves as the chosen people of God, but then neglected the fact that they were called to represent God to the world. We too are called to be God’s representatives and reflect his character. How we interact with people in our workplaces, our schools, at the mall and online all must reflect our relationship with Jesus. That our relationship with Jesus that is so flooded with the knowledge and understanding of his grace that it overflows in us and oozes out of every aspect of who we are.
So the focus again needs to come off of us. It has to be on him. We cannot hope to live this out unless we are oriented and centered on Jesus. Our desire to make a difference in this world cannot be rooted in our effort, but rather in our desire to reveal who Jesus is as he fills us and his spirit moves in us. Our deeds are not about doing better or trying harder. The evidence of our faith is the deeds that pour out of us as we dwell in and live out who Jesus is.
If you have a minute read the entirety of James 2 here: James 2 Text