Faith With Feet

In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.

James 2:17

Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.

James 1:22

It seems that lately, I’ve been hit with the same general message of putting feet to my faith.  These two verses recently came to the front of my mind as I’ve been processing the balancing act of serving others with humility and of spurring others on to serve as well.  I wrote about some of these thoughts in a post about walking on a tightrope.  Earlier this week, I read a great post by Michael D. Perkins about Humble Bragging.  And I continued to wrestle with the subject as I posted about Help for the Homeless on Monday of this week.

Our faith isn’t about having all the book knowledge in the world.  If I know the entire Bible front to back and back to front, it means nothing – if I don’t put it into action.  I can go to church every Sunday for my entire life, and it means nothing – if I don’t go out into the world to lovingly serve others and to bring the message of Christ to a world that is broken and lost.

We are called to be the hands and feet of Jesus.  We are called to serve others, and we have a responsibility to bring the message of hope, truth, and love – of Jesus – to a world that doesn’t have hope, doesn’t know truth, and doesn’t know the love of Christ.

How can we do this?  How do we have faith with feet?

Here’s a place to start:

  1. Open your eyes today.  Find a way to serve those around you today.  It could be as simple as picking up after someone when they drop something, holding a door for a co-worker, or letting the person behind you go ahead of you.  What opportunities do you see around you to help others?
  2. Inconvenience yourself.  Putting feet on your faith can be inconvenient.  Maybe you have plans that need to be interrupted so you can help someone else.  Helping others isn’t about convenience.  The Bible never says “serve others when it’s convenient or when it works with your schedule.”  Prepare to be uncomfortable.  Nobody said it would be easy.  What do you need to give up today or this week, so you can serve others?
  3. Find a couple other people to serve with you.  Serving with others provides a unique opportunity to have fellowship and accountability.  When we serve with other people, we can process the “adventure” of helping others together.  Also, it can sometimes be helpful to have another set of eyes with you to recognize areas of need that you may have overlooked.  Who can you team up with this month to help someone?
  4. Be intentional.  Seek and plan for opportunities to serve.  Plan to go on a missions trip.  Plan to serve in a soup kitchen.  Plan to visit a nursing home.  Seek out opportunities to serve in you area and around the world.  There may be some fundraising that you need to do to make certain opportunities possible.  Use your mind to map out ways that you will intentionally serve others over the course of this next year.  How have you blocked of time on your calendar to serve others?  Where are you planning to serve this year?
  5. Be flexible.  I learned in Guatemala and I’ve learned through other service opportunities that things don’t always go the way you plan.  You have to learn to flex.  Sometimes God has great things in store – things that will have a greater impact on those we serve and things that will have a greater impact on us.  Sometimes we have to go with the flow.  Are you a spontaneous person or a person who likes to have more rigidity to their schedule?  What changes do you need to make to become more flexible?
  6. Trust God.  Perhaps, this sounds too simple.  It’s meant to be a reminder.  God doesn’t promise a path of ease, peace, and comfort, but He does promise to be with us, to make our paths straight, and to work together for good if we trust Him and follow His Word.  (Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding;in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.  Proverbs 3:5-6  And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.  Romans 8:28Where do you need to trust God this week?

I want to have a faith that is active.  I want to have a faith that is living and breathing.  I want to have a faith with feet.

How about you?  What other ideas do you have about putting your faith into action?  How are you putting your feet on your faith these days?