Thursday, February 24, 2011
How do we display our faith?
Are we supposed to be ramming people and knocking them over for the Lord? Are we supposed to be in your face? Can we strongarm people into accepting the love of Christ?
Okay, I'm a nerd. I could use some of those post-it notes for Christ. I could go around sticking them on people I know need it. Maybe stick an appropriate scripture on their desk, or jacket, or maybe sneak in and put it on their computer screen!
I once had an acquaintance who liked baking bread and giving it away as gifts. Sounds pretty simple, but he like sticking religious sayings on cards in them. Imagine my surprise the first time I cut into one of these. Somehow it felt like being judgment against my faith, or at least my demonstration of my faith. There were weeks when I got no bread, and weeks when I got 2 or 3 loaves.
There are a couple of scriptures that come to mind here, they are about faith and works as written by Paul and James:
Galatians 2:16 - "Yet we know that a person is justified not by the works of the law but through faith in/of Jesus Christ. And we have come to believe in Christ Jesus, so that we might be justified by faith in/of Christ, and not by doing the works of the law, because no one will be justified by the works of the law."
Romans 3:28 - "For we hold that a person is justified by faith apart from works prescribed by the law."
James 2:24, 26 - "You see that a person is justified by works and not by faith alone... For just as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is also dead."
Now, I’m no expert, but what I think the Bible is trying to teach us is that it’s not all about, or at least not only about what you do. We all know people who do great works for show (or the need to shine), and not out of love or caring. I cannot truly judge another person, their motives or their heart, that is God’s work.
The lesson here, I think it that while we cannot ever judge the quality or sincerity of another’s faith, we can judge the quality of their works and the consistency of their work(s). And, if we, ourselves, have faith, then we should be and feel compelled to do good works.
Yes, for some of us, it might be would be a great deal easier for people to tell that we are Christian by our special uniform, dress, or something else we can put on. But, that’s just not how it works. It doesn’t matter how many crosses I may wear, or how long I pray in public, but the burning issue is, “Do I show love for God’s people?”
It really isn’t just what you do; it’s who you demonstrate yourself to be and the evidence that you give of Whose you are!
Who do you belong to, and can anybody (everybody) tell?
(Daily audio Proverbs added, see tabs to right)