In the book of James the 2nd chapter, there is a statement that speaks of faith without works is dead. What does it mean? I am learning that if one says faith is evident, but there is no energy to back it up, then faith has a problem. Here is what I mean.
I may say I have faith that a chair will sustain me by sitting in it, but if I never exercise my faith by actually sitting in the chair, how is faith working? In this example, faith is dead as it is alone with no energy to back it up. Thus by not sitting in the chair I will never experience the knowledge of knowing what the chair can do for me by sitting in it.
Likewise faith needs a similar action plan. From a Christian perspective, the action plan in essence is more than just being verbal and saying you have faith, it is the act of doing that coincides with that faith. It is instituting verbs (action) that enables faith to be energized. Saying you have faith is one thing, but stepping out on faith by doing is quite another. Here’s another example.
I had until this Friday to make one huge decision. As stated in an earlier post this week, it was either keeping my mother in the nursing home, putting her somewhere else or taking her home. I kept saying God you said you would instruct me and teach me in the way I should go. So please, show me what needs to be done. I acted by on my faith by asking for help. To caregivers everywhere, this will be challenging, particularly when you don’t know to what road the journey will lead. But God has a way to (if you keep silent and be open to new possibilities of obtaining answers) illuminate the path in which way you should go. He will put people in your path that can help you find answers, and give you bits of information that you can use in making the final decision. And here is the best part. When the decision is made, you know it’s the right one because the peace that overflows from within is such a lovely thing. Faith has been exercised, and its muscles have become stronger. So what was my decision regarding my mother? It is to bring her home…
Yesterday the closer I got driving to the nursing home, the more excited I became (no more angst, no more “I don’t want to go” feelings). I wanted to talk to her and tell her everything that had been going on for the past month (this journey started October 4th). And so we had a very long talk, and being she was clear-headed made it all the better. I could not have asked for a better conversation. She admitted there have been some things mentally going on for a while, but she just surmised it had to do with her getting older. I mapped out the plan I have for the next year, and told her it would be challenging, but it can work, and she agreed.
But with this decision come many more issues. I have to hire an aide to come out daily. I have to be there for the evening to take care of her. It is not that I have had an abundant social life, but what little bit I did have will be no more, as I will truly be a caregiver for my mother. I have purposed to make the sacrifice. This is my definition of faith with works, not without it.
“Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works. For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.” James 2: 18, 26