Salvation, check. Church this Sunday, check. Tithing, check. It’s starting to feel like I’m at a Midas “24 point inspection” and my faith is the vehicle. Yet, I’m willing to bet that a lot of us subscribe to a “check box” relationship paradigm with God. Where the problem can lie, in this particular type of relationship, is in a lack of faith. At this point you may be fuming and I completely understand. Hear me out.
James 2:14 (NLT) clearly states, “What good is it, dear brothers and sisters, if you say you have faith but don’t show it by your actions? Can that kind of faith save anyone?” James is making an awesome distinction within this passage. The way to eternal life consists of more than just faith; it involves works/actions spurred by such faith. Remember, just because you’ve voiced a belief doesn’t mean you always take the appropriate action to show it. This is where actions speak louder than words. However, Paul contends there is a balance.
Ephesians 2:8-9 (NLT) discusses this balance. “God saved you by his grace when you believed. And you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God. Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it.” The counterbalance to works is faith; faith that God’s grace is sufficient, a gift that only He can give. Paul is voicing that works without faith is not sufficient to eternal life.
In sharing these Scriptures, the directive is not to choose sides but to find a balance. Remember those playground days? When you and your buddy tried to balance the teeter totter in midair?
Your relationship with God is a lot like that. Finding a balance between works and faith can be difficult but it’s the beauty of your journey with God.
My hope is a rediscovery of our faith and relationship with Christ. Instead of “going through the motions” of our weekly routine, we’d find the joy, love and grace of both faith in Christ and the subsequent works/actions of that faith. Join me in rediscovering a relationship that goes beyond check boxes and into a transformational shift towards Christ.
Scott Levesque is the Youth Pastor at Kenai New Life. His handle on Twitter is @scottlevesque