Do what God’s teaching says; don’t just listen and do nothing. When you only sit and listen, you are fooling yourselves.
(James 1:22 ERV)
Many people today claim some type of faith. In America, though other religions are growing, Christianity still is the predominant religion of our culture. Ask most people and they will tell you they are “Christian”. Most however are merely giving a default answer. Don’t get me wrong. I’m not trying to judge anyone but if statistics are to be believed we are in an age when true Christianity is seeing a serious decline in its adherents.
It might help to state that I see the practice of claiming to be a Christian as more than just an identity to satisfy ourselves but rather, it’s a label that denotes our devotion to the person of Jesus Christ. When I talk to people about their faith and they willingly share with me that they are a “believer” my conversation naturally turns to how often they are reading the Bible, what has God been teaching them of late, and who are they serving? Once in a while I will get solid answers of daily reading, blessings and burdens, and the ministry they are serving in. In the vast majority of cases, I hear a plethora of excuses ranging from time constraints, not understanding the Word of God, not wanting to be bogged down in a church, etc..
As a business professional I write often here about leadership skills and time management. As a pastor, I attempt to bring this crucial information into the spiritual realm. The reality is our lives reflect what is most important to us. If Christ is important we will find 30 minutes in a day to read God’s Word. We will pray, we will change destructive actions and not be influenced by destructive people, and we will find a way to live our faith practically so that others will see the reality of who Jesus is. The words of the Apostle James follow up on this:
You might think you are a very religious person. But if your tongue is out of control, you are fooling yourself. Your careless talk makes your offerings to God worthless.
(James 1:26 ERV)
Do our actions measure up to our words? Or is our tongue merely being careless? If we never take action on what we learn, are we really making a difference? And how can we take action if we don’t read the execution manual? (The Bible). In business, we would be fired for attempting to do something without first reading the instructions and knowing how it should be done. If we lie on our résumé and say we are proficient in a certain skill we will soon be found out. Yet, many do this very thing by claiming to know God when they’ve never even read His book, hardly pray, and never take action. If you really are a Christian, then let God’s light shine through you as you serve others and glorify God each day (Matthew 5:16)