A Faith That Works – Part Two

“So with faith, if it does not lead to action, it is in itself a lifeless thing.”
James 2: 17 New English Bible

Our generation has watched the unweaving of America’s moral fabric. As a result many seem to go through life standing at the “complaint counter.” There is a better way. Genuine moral awakening begins when we gain the perspective on life shown by an old Polish Rabbi, Hafez Hayyim, who was being visited by an American. The guest was amazed to see the old man’s home was furnished with racks of books. The only furniture was a table and a bench.

“Rabbi, where is your furniture?” asked the tourist.

“Where is yours?” replied Hafez.

“Mine? But I’m only a visitor here.”

“So am I,” said the rabbi.

Had we that attitude we would tend to focus more on spiritual matters.

As doers of the word we can begin to impact our national moral condition. One young man put it this way.

“When I was a young man, I wanted to change the world. I found it difficult to change the world, so I tried to change my nation. When I found I couldn’t change my nation, I began to focus on my town. I couldn’t change the town and as an older man, I tried to change my family.

Now as an old man, I realize the only thing I can change is myself, and suddenly I realized that if long ago I had changed myself, I could have made an impact on my family, and I could have made an impact on my town. Their impact could have changed the nation, and thus I could have indeed changed the world.”

Get away from the complaint counter, change your own moral life and thereby help change the world.

James relates the same truth in this way.

“For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man observing his natural face in a mirror; for he observes himself, goes away, and immediately forgets what kind of man he was. But he who looks into the perfect law of liberty and continues in it, and is not a forgetful hearer but a doer of the word, this one will be blessed in what he does” (James 1:23 – 25).

To know God’s word and not do it is sin.

“Therefore, to him who knows to do good and does not do it, to him it is sin” (James 4:17).

Reading in order to obtain Bible knowledge and facts is important, but the listener must translate it into daily life. Otherwise we are like a person who eats often but his digestive system never allows the food to be assimilated. Such a person, though well nourished, becomes malnourished.

To know and not do the word is to deceive ourselves. Get away from the complaint counter and go over to the assignment desk.