This was one of the roads our discussions took last night at Drink Deep. We were talking about our core values and living as disciples of Christ, and this kind of came up. The question is can you believe something without actually doing something in regards to that belief?
The answer that came first was yes. I'm sure everyone can name people in their lives that believe one thing but act in a different way.
But, of course, I couldn't leave it at that. If someone is acting in a way that differs from what they say, the question is, are their actions different from what they believe, or are their words different? You can have a rickety old chair that looks like it's about to fall apart and ask if I think it would support my weight. If I say "yes" but I refuse to sit in it, which one do I really believe?
This can lead to some very hard inner conversations. I can say I think poverty is a bad thing, but if I am doing nothing or giving nothing to stop it, am I really that upset with it or am I content to allow it to exist because it doesn't directly involve me? I can say it is important to tell people about Jesus so they can know there is a God who loves them, but if I'm not doing it do I really believe it's necessary? Or just that it's someone else's job?
It's a scary can of worms to open, but it may help you realize what you truly believe. If someone were to look at your life without any commentary, what conclusions would they reach about you? Something to ponder...
My friends, what good is it to say you have faith, when you don’t do anything to show that you really do have faith? Can that kind of faith save you? If you know someone who doesn’t have any clothes or food, you shouldn’t just say, "I hope all goes well for you. I hope you will be warm and have plenty to eat." What good is it to say this, unless you do something to help? Faith that doesn’t lead us to do good deeds is all alone and dead!
Suppose someone disagrees and says, "It is possible to have faith without doing kind deeds." I would answer, "Prove that you have faith without doing kind deeds, and I will prove that I have faith by doing them." ~ James 2:14-18 (CEV)