Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. (James 1:22)
Recently I ran into a friend who serves on a special task force that assists the needy in our community. “How’s the big project going?” I asked.
“Splendid!” he responded. “We meet every month, and we are making great progress.”
“Wonderful! What has been accomplished so far?” I asked.
“Oh, we haven’t accomplished anything yet,” he replied. “But we’re sure making lots of progress in our discussions.”
It’s easy for any of us to spend a lot of time talking with others about our ministry dreams, goals, and specific projects, and to feel like the time spent in discussion is just as important an activity as actually getting things done. In reality, ministry begins when we start interacting with the people we’re serving.
Of course, good discussions can lead to good decisions. Every worthwhile enterprise requires clear communication. But far too often, we stall in the conversation and never get around to action.
Words are cheap. That’s why we tend to use so many. But good intentions and conversations accomplish nothing unless we roll up our sleeves and get the job done.
A robust spiritual life requires action. It is not enough to merely read the Bible. We must do what it says. This is how we prove to be followers of Christ.
Don’t just talk about your faith; practice it.
Mark O. Wilson is assistant professor of discipleship, multiplication, and renewal at Southern Wesleyan University (SC) and author of Filled Up, Poured Out.
© 2022 Wesleyan Publishing House. Reprinted from Light from the Word. Used by permission. Scriptures taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®.