Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Action vs. Words

"The letter of James shows one of the church's early pastors skillfully going about his work of confronting, diagnosing, and dealing with areas of misbelief and misbehavior that had turned up in congregations committed to his care. Deep and living wisdom is on display here, wisdom both rare and essential." Eugene Peterson (The Message: commentary introduction to the book of James)

Dear friends, do you think you’ll get anywhere in this
if you learn all the right words but never do anything?
James 2:14 (The Message)

I once met a woman who by her appearances looked like a perfect Christian woman. She spoke the right words. Her life revolved around her church community. She frequently talked about caring for people in need. But, as time went on, I noticed that everything she did was self focused. There was never a time that I saw her reach out beyond the walls of her church. She talked a Christian line but her words never translated into positive actions.

For those of us who have grown up in the church, Biblical truths can easily become just words. “Well I can’t really live that way,” becomes our excuse because the “truths” we’ve learned are too uncomfortable to live by. New converts are more likely to take literally the Sermon on the Mount, where religious Christians reason that Jesus’ teachings are simply metaphors or even “suggestions” on how to live.

I can go to Bible studies, read my daily devotions, go to inspiring Christian seminars but it becomes a religious hideout unless I get “out there” and do something - taking my talk to the streets actively making a difference in the world’s ghetto.

Jesus, help me to live on the street, outside the protective church walls,
and be Christ to my community.

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