Verse: James 2:14-17
14 What good is it, my brothers and sisters, if someone claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save them? 15 Suppose a brother or a sister is without clothes and daily food. 16 If one of you says to them, “Go in peace; keep warm and well fed,” but does nothing about their physical needs, what good is it? 17 In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.
If I tell my wife I love her, but don’t follow it up with treating her well, what good is my love?
If I tell my friend that we are good friends, but when he needs me I don’t offer to help, what good is my friendship?
If I tell my kids I believe in them, but I always find fault with them, what good is my belief?
If I say I’m passionate about social justice, but I never actually do anything about it, what good is my passion?
(one more, then I’ll stop – promise)
If I say I desire to be a better athlete, but never practice my sport, what good is my desire?
This is the correlation James is drawing. It’s the same thing. If we say we believe in Jesus, but it doesn’t change how we live our lives, what good is believing in Jesus?
So what can get us from belief to action? Choices. Choices are the bridge from belief to action. We are faced with so many choices every day. Each one is an opportunity to align our lives with Jesus, or to align ourselves with something else (myself, my friends, my reputation, the world, culture, etc).
I’ve been thinking about this statement lately, in the midst of COVID and all the restrictions we live with right now: “Do What We Can.” I feel like as I read this passage, that’s part of what he is saying. Do what you can! You can’t fix every problem. You can’t be everywhere at once. But, you can do what you can. In fact – you are the only one you can!
We might not be able to give great advice to a friend, but we can buy them a treat and surprise them! Do what you can! We might not be able to feed everyone who is hungry, but we can volunteer to donate food at our church. Do what you can!
As we start making those choices, they build on each other, and eventually become a lifestyle. And that’s the transformation we are looking for in our lives isn’t it? Where we begin to naturally do what Jesus did. It starts small. But it starts with choices.
Choose to do what you can today!
God, please open my eyes to see the opportunities, and then give me the courage to step into them.
Author: Christian Dunn