I’m the sound engineer at my church – I have a sweeping view of the general congregation. From my seat and I can tell what most of the people are up to. One day out of seven I get a chance to see Christians in action – they’re lined up, singing sometimes. Talking most of the time. Every now and then I even catch them eating and drinking. There’s a lot I don’t see. Feeding the hungry, providing drinks to the thirsty, hosting strangers, giving clothes, looking after the ill, visiting prisoners and all those other things Christians are supposed to do. I know if I was ever accused of being a Christian, people would be hard-pressed to find irrefutable evidence to prove that it was so.
Part of the reason why is the whole works/faith dynamic. James 2:14-17 says, “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.” That’s a picture of a lot of churches out here. Isn’t America one of the few countries where there is an abundance of rich Christians? Why are there still poor among us in our very own communities? Why can’t we help our brothers and sisters in the faith who live on the other side of the world? Who will if we won’t? Usually, nobody.
James continues – ” 18 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. 19 You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that—and shudder.”
It’s not a matter of believing correctly – lots of us believe correctly, we just don’t back it up with our actions. Isn’t there a common saying that, “Actions speak louder than words.”? Do our actions (or lack there-of) speak to our faithfullness (or lack there-of)? Christmas is one of the few times of the year when people give a little extra, share a little more, help out – shouldn’t we adopt a ‘Christmas is everyday’ attitude? Lets accumulate more than enough evidence to prove our case.