Verse: James 2:18-19
But someone will say, “You have faith; I have deeds.” Show me your faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by my deeds. You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that—and shudder.
And here we have it folks: the sassiest verse in the entire Bible! The last part of this chapter is a giant rant, and James has absolutely had it with people who want to take a limited view: only faith or only deeds.
The idea here is that belief alone is not the whole picture. I like to think of James saying “WooOOoow” in the most sarcastic possible voice. “Even the demons believe that”, he says.
It’s not just belief in or knowledge of God that matters, it’s faith. Think of faith as belief put into action. When you have faith, you’ll be obeying God and doing things he wants, which in turn proves your faith exists. Otherwise, it’s just belief.
Imagine a winter day after a big snowfall, getting bundled up in coat and gloves, driving to a nice sledding hill, and hauling your sled to the top. Once you’ve reached the summit, you yell for the other sledders to hear: “I believe sledding is enjoyable!” Then, you walk back down the hill, hop in the car, and drive home. This is how dumb James says it is to have faith without deeds; in fact he says it’s not faith at all.
Get on the sled and enjoy the ride down the hill and experience it for yourself. Otherwise you don’t really believe it, or it’s a completely useless belief.
The deeds you do show your faith exists, and the faith exists so you can do the deeds and have them be meaningful to God. Hand in hand. They need each other to be the full picture of the life God wants us to live.
Go find the hungry people and feed them.
Find the people who need clothes and clothe them.
Write letters and texts to encourage people who need it.
Hug someone sad.
Do the deeds!
God, show me where I can complement my faith with deeds today. Help me see an opportunity to show my faith.
Author: Jordan Ambra