dead faith

What good is it my brothers, if a man claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save him? Suppose a brother or sister is without clothes and daily food. If one of you says to him, 'Go, I wish you well; keep warm and well fed,' but does nothing about his physical needs, what good is it? In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.

But someone will say, 'You have faith; I have deeds.'

Show me your faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by what I do. You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that - and shudder.

I have heard a lot of people talk about dead faith, or faith that doesn't do anything, faith that bears no fruit, that offers no witness to goodness, to love, or to God. I want my faith to show my God, and I pray that it does. I want faith that leads me to feed the hungry and clothe the naked and love the wretched.

Stephen was telling me about a friend's mom that asked me about his faith. Her exact question, "What is your faith?" kind of put him for a spin I think, as it would me.

What is your faith? I used to think of faith as a simple synonym for belief. I believe in God. I believe that Jesus is His son, and as such is God, who was sent to Earth to reconcile Mankind back to Himself through an unthinkable sacrifice. And when He went back to heaven I believe that He sent the Holy Spirit to stay with us to that we would have help when we inevitably messed up again.

But my faith must be more than the One I believe in. My faith must be multi-dimensional. It must not only be about who or what I believe, but also how I believe.

Does my faith lead me to do something? If I see a child starving on the streets, is my belief in God or in what he could do going to change anything? Probably not. But my belief in how he would want me to use my faith would change something. Putting my faith, my belief in His love for that starving child, into action will change something. It changes everything. Because believing in God is only the start. Believing in God only helps yourself, and only to a short extent at that. Loving others through that same faith is what makes the difference. That's what faith is really for. Not for selfish reassurance in a better afterlife, but for selfless reassurance for another's present life.

Make it better for someone else. That is what faith should do. That is how faith should act. Because like Paul said, even the demons believe in God. It is what they do that makes them who they are and demonstrates what they truly believe.

1 comment:

  1. I sat up for a while reading and contemplating that question...not that it's something that I don't know the answer to...just that it's something that seems almost to big to sum up in one sentence. It's very true that faith is useful to no one but yourself without action based on that faith...it's what we're called to and you hit it on the head with this post. You're amazing...and I miss you so much!