It’s the age old struggle between faith and action. What’s more important?
It is very true that all you have to do to be saved is believe with all of your heart that Jesus Christ is your Lord and Savior.
But a problem arises when people begin to subconsciously excuse their lack of good works with that statement alone. This is why the world often looks at Christians as hypocrites. We talk about love and kindness, but often fall short of actually living it out.
This is because:
To SAY you are a Christ Follower is very different from LIVING as a Christ Follower.
Think about it- Peter got up from his boat and physically FOLLOWED Jesus. And while he and all of the disciples were following Jesus, they DID STUFF. They showed love, healed people, and gave to the poor. Faith isn’t just a feeling, it’s a LIFESTYLE.
Yes, God loves you regardless of any works you do. He is not going to love one person more than another simply because one volunteered or gave more. However, He also does not prefer His limitlessly loved children to simply sit down and stay silent. He wants us to receive His love and SPREAD it.
People often read this verse to justify the lesser value of works:
“For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—not by works, so that no one can boast.” –Ephesians 8-9
But it’s easy to miss the verse that comes directly after it:
“For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” –Ephesians 2:10
See, we were CREATED to do beautiful things in this world for God’s Kingdom. He made you for a purpose. You weren’t made to just identify as a Christian but to use your identity as a powerful and needed agent to bring hope-filled light into the pain-filled darkness…because even though you are 100% saved BY faith, you were made FOR works.
A P P L I C A T I O N:
There are 3 ways to respond to God’s love: reject it, accept it, or redirect it.
We often stop at accept. But you can accept AND redirect it to someone else who needs their Savior just as much as you do:
- Smile at someone. They may really need it.
- Listen to your friends– more than to just what they are saying…but to what they are feeling. Do they need some extra love? Go get some ice cream. Watch a movie. Just BE THERE for them.
- Open a door for someone. It’s small but I think we all can agree that we appreciate it.
- Walk with someone somewhere– even if it’s out of your way. The power of genuine conversation does more than we realize. It’s what led me to choosing my sorority.
- Don’t be afraid to be vulnerable and real with strangers. The best friendships I’ve ever developed have come from a place of authenticity. Showing that you are simply a broken human just like them (and not some perfect person who is intimidating) trying to figure out this weird thing called life is so refreshing….even at the bus stop or in a 300 person classroom (who knows, that person you randomly open to could end up being your spouse!! Wink wink)