A faith that does not do things is a dead faith. – James 2:17 (NLV)
Maybe it’s just me, but it seems like there’s a lot of pressure on Pinterest. I have friends who love it. They’re busy pinning clever water conservation ideas and, “5 steps to feeding hummingbirds from your hand,” right this very minute. It makes me feel somewhat shameful that my family uses the nozzle at the back of the house to fill the dog’s water bowl, and that our hummingbirds have to go find their own food. That’s why I tried to join the pinsanity.
It just seems so overwhelming to me. I mean, I don’t want to remind myself about a bunch of great ideas because then I might feel like I have to actually do them. Who needs that kind of anxiety? I don’t want pictures of great craft ideas, decorating tips, and recipes mocking me every time I get online. Let’s have a raise of hands. How many of you Pinterest addicts actually cook the recipes you pin? Do you decorate your homes with the ideas you find, or is it mostly just a place where you tell the world, “Hey, I like this. This is me, if I had time and energy. But since I don’t, I think I’ll just look at it every once in awhile while I sit in my house that looks the same as it did 10 years ago.”
I hate to admit it, but sometimes I approach relationship with God the same way. It’s like I have an invisible pin board where I’ve put Scriptures, sermons, Bible studies, private conversations with God, and challenging conversations with friends. When I first hear or see those truths, I know I need to put them into practice in my life. But I don’t always follow through. I don’t always finish. I nod my ahead in agreement, and then go about my merry way, same as usual. And if I’m being completely honest, most days, I’d rather do without the reminders.
The thing is, when God’s Spirit prompts us to do something – whether it’s to make a change, get rid of something in our lives, follow Him in a step of faith, repair a relationship, or confess something, it’s not just a good idea. God reveals important truths to us because He loves us and He wants us to put our faith into practice so that we can experience life with Him in the best possible way. God doesn’t start a good work in you as a passing interest; He intends to complete the work, and He is faithful to do it. But it requires our participation in the process.
His commands are not something to set aside for a time when we feel like we’re ready to deal with it; they are necessary for us to put into practice right now – no matter how difficult we think it might be. Faith without works is dead, and that verse isn’t just about doing nice things for people. If it were, James wouldn’t have used Abraham’s obedience in bringing his son Isaac to the altar as the illustration (see James 2:17-24). The works that prove our faith are sometimes painful. But they always, always have a point.
I don’t want my life to be a spiritual bulletin board full of things I might get around to one day – things that say, “Hey, I like this. It’s good, right, and true. And it’s who I’d be, if I had the time and energy.” I bet you don’t either.
So what has God shown you lately? What will you do about it?