Here in America it’s easy to be comfortable, live in excess, and ignore people suffering around us. In James 2:15-17 we are warned against being all talk and no action: “If a brother or sister is poorly clothed and lacking in daily food, and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, be warmed and filled,” without giving them the things needed for the body, what good is that? So also, faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.”
It seems as though we know just the right “Christian” thing to say don’t we? We can rattle off answers to difficult questions, thinking we’ve got this. Or we tell a friend who is going through a tough time, “Don’t worry. God will work it out.” How often have we said something like, “God won’t give you more than you can handle!” We are sure to pray very articulate prayers using the right vocal tone and utilizing dramatic pauses. We say all of these things, but often times our lives do not reflect them.
If we would examine Scripture, we would realize that we do not have all the answers. When a friend in need comes to us we offer them words or simply ‘thoughts and prayers’ or ‘good vibes’ instead of offering help. Our fancy prayers sometimes lack a humble heart. James writes to encourage us as believers to ensure that our words match our actions. He reminds us that a person who is not livingfor God is not alive at all. One of the four things we focus on at Restore is Mission. “We encourage one another to live our lives on mission for Christ.” We are His ambassadors and our singular purpose is to point others to Jesus.
In 2007 the Barna Group did a survey and found that roughly 85% of non-Christians viewed believers as hypocritical. How can we go and make disciples if we are not seen as genuine? We are empowered by the Holy Spirit to live lives that make a difference. What a revolution it would be if we all just walked the walk a little more? We can be the ones that change the world by first changing ourselves. We can live out our faith through our actions.
Be encouraged, the Apostle Paul writes in Romans 8 that the Spirit of God, who raised Jesus from the dead, lives in you.
Remember that as you shine your light in your community.