Monday, January 27, 2014

Judging Faith by Martin Wiles

“Don’t judge a book by its cover.” A directive that’s true most of the time, but then… “Don’t judge a person based on a first impression.” Most of the time a good piece of advice, but sometimes…

Teachers have a tendency to judge a student’s intelligence by certain standards. When students are studious in class and prompt with their homework and classwork, it’s assumed their IQ is above normal. And then there are tests and quizzes. Students with high marks show they have mastered the material or are good at memorization. Those who do it consistently are usually considered of higher than normal intelligence. Though it’s possible for a student who demonstrates none of these characteristics to be highly intelligent (example Albert Einstein), a student’s intelligence is frequently displayed by the quality of their work. 

Faith in God maneuvers along the same lines. Now someone may argue, “Some people have faith; others have good deeds.” But I say, “How can you show me your faith if you don’t have good deeds? I will show you my faith by my good deeds.” (James 2:18 NLT)

I proclaim I’m a believer, but I’m constantly criticizing the person I work for or the people I work with. I shout that I love God’s church but never use my talents there—and gossip about those who do. “They’re trying to run the church,” I mouth. And I say I love God, but I constantly stereotype people from other races, cultures, or economic statuses. 

Seems to me there’s something wrong with the above picture. And there is. True faith reveals itself in love for God and others and then through actions that demonstrate that love is genuine. Kindness, generosity, patience, gentleness, encouragement, peace, faithfulness, and the like. What are your actions saying about your faith?

Prayer: Father in heaven, may the words of our mouth and the actions of our hands display to others a genuine love for You and them. 

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