This post is part of the Five Minute Friday blog link-up! Each week Kate Motaung provides a one-word writing prompt for participants to free write for five minutes flat and share their work with the online community. This week’s prompt is EXPERIENCE. You can also find in the 28 Day Blogging Challenge.
We live while accumulating experience in many areas. Work experience, experience in cooking, cleaning, driving, traveling, speaking in front of a crowd, coding, networking, speaking a different language, living away from home, sewing, writing, teaching, giving, praying, loving, and so much more. That’s life experience.
All action words. We gain experience by doing something, by taking action.
James 2:14-18 (NLT) asks What good is it, dear brothers and sisters, if you say you have faith but don’t show it by your actions? Can that kind of faith save anyone? Suppose you see a brother or sister who has no food or clothing, and you say, “Good-bye and have a good day; stay warm and eat well”—but then you don’t give that person any food or clothing. What good does that do?
What about your faith experience? Is your identity in Christ or is it in what you do, or have done?
We are saved by faith alone (Ephesians 2:8-9). We can’t work our way into heaven. Our identity is in Christ who, in the form of the Holy Spirit, we received at the moment of salvation. Saved by faith and forgiven by grace. Your identity is not in what you do or have done. Now that we’ve cleared that up…
What do we do with the faith that saved us? No action, no progress.
So you see, faith by itself isn’t enough. Unless it produces good deeds, it is dead and useless. (v17)
We are new creations in Christ (2 Corinthians 5:17), casting off the old self and putting on a new self (Ephesians 4:22-23). It’s those pesky action words again, casting off and putting on, they’ll get you every time. This Christian life is not passive.
Now someone may argue, “Some people have faith; others have good deeds.” But I say, “How can you show me your faith if you don’t have good deeds? I will show you my faith by my good deeds.” (v 18)
When we put Christ above all, He begins to make changes. We eventually begin living with a new nature (Colossians 3:10) cultivated by the Holy Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23). We’ll start thinking about the interests of others before our own (Philippians 2:3) and take action because we are faithful, not to prove that we are.
At least that’s how I think it’s supposed to work. What about you?
Featured image by David Dilbert at unsplash.com