Photo taken by Ian Tan
“I can’t believe they did that to you, especially because they’re Christians. They should know better!”
I can’t tell you how many times I have heard people relay stories of how Christians have hurt them, let them down or said unkind words. You’ve probably heard a story too. Maybe you’ve even experienced it yourself.
While the world may not believe in God, there is the unspoken expectation that Christians should be held to a higher standard. They expect us to live out our faith. And that is not an unreasonable demand, because, as James tells us, our actions should demonstrate to the world that we have a transformational faith.
As we profess that Jesus is Lord, we must demonstrate it through our acts of obedience to God, or in other words “good fruit” (Matthew 7:16-21). In James 2:18-26, the passage talks about how faith unaccompanied by deeds is “dead” or “useless”. What the author is inferring here is that it’s entirely possible to claim we have a saving faith when, in reality, we don’t have faith at all. Merely reciting God’s Word without practical, visible actions of obedience to God is pointless. Even the demons believe in God, James tells us.
So how do we know if we have true faith?
Real faith is more than a mental assent to the truth—it involves living action.
James goes on to talk about how faith and deeds are inseparable, as Abraham and Rahab demonstrated in their lives. Their works showed that their faith was in good working order.
In summary, faith produces good fruit. It’s exactly what Jesus says in Matthew chapter 7. “Likewise, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit.” (Matthew 7:17-18).
Friend, the more I follow Jesus, the more I realize just how wonderful He is. Just how life-giving and freedom-bringing He is. If I want my friends to follow Jesus too, then I need to “show” them Jesus through my actions. How I live my life will speak louder than any Christian cliché I can mutter. We are ambassadors for Christ. Therefore, let our lives be an expression of freedom and love that can only be found in real relationship with Him.
—Rachel Moreland, USA
Questions for reflection
1. What can you do this week that would demonstrate your faith and the love of Jesus?
2. What steps can you take to strengthen your own faith, for instance, spend more time reading the Bible, pray more regularly, share the gospel with people who don’t believe in God?
Hand-lettering by Rachel Tu
Rachel is an American expat living in Edinburgh, Scotland. She is a writer, digital media buff and aspiring author. You can read more of her work about faith and mental health over on her blog, With love from Rachel. When Rachel isn’t writing, you can find her most days searching for that perfect cup of coffee in a cosy café, planning her next travel adventure and enjoying life with her husband, James.