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.”

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 use so many. 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 are proven to be followers of Christ.

Don’t just talk about your faith; practice it.

Mark O. Wilson is senior pastor of Hayward Wesleyan Church in Wisconsin’s Northwoods, and author of Filled Up, Poured Out (WPH) and Purple Fish (WPH).