James 2:14-26 Faith without Good Deeds is Dead
The Scriptures says faith without good deeds is dead. What are ‘Good Deeds’ and what does the scripture mean?
First, let’s establish what ‘faith’ is. The dictionary says faith is complete trust or confidence in someone or something. Hebrew 11:1 says “faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.”
As Christians we would claim to have faith, and according to the scriptures if our faith is as small as a mustard seed, we can still move mountains.
So what are ‘Good Deeds?’ A good deed is an act of kindness, accommodating, generosity, benevolence, charity, assistance, help, sympathy or aid, all performed with the simple intention of being helpful and without the expectation of compensation of any kind.
Matthew 25:40 says ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’ To be in line with Elohim and be blessed, we need to be sowing seeds.
What stops us from doing ‘good deeds’ and what can we do to change the situation? We can start with the greatest commandment ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind, followed by ‘Love your neighbour as yourself.’
If you love God with all your heart working for him should not be a problem. This is where most people fail – we can’t love our neighbours if some of us don’t even speak to them.
Here are some exercises you can put into action:
- As you leave your house each morning smile at everyone you meet on the street. Say good morning to a neighbour, you don’t have to wait for a reply, just say it as you’re walking by. At first it may seem strange to those who don’t do it already, but as you keep on doing it, it will become natural to you.
- To do action number 1, you also need to love yourself, before you can love anyone else. So starting with you, look in the mirror each morning and say ‘I am beautiful, wonderfully made by my creator Elohim. He has made me his masterpiece. O LORD, you are our Father, we are the clay and you are the potter, we all are formed by your hand. Thank you Elohim.
- Many people believe they need money to help other people. This is not true; you can help an elderly neighbour with shopping or by being a listening ear to them. Simply visiting a friend who lives alone, your companionship might be just what they need; or being a helping hand at a charity or at your place of worship.
- You might feel that charity begins at home, and you are right. How many busy parents take time out to listen to their children instead of shouting at them to be quiet? Do you know how many children are yearning for their parents to listen? When I spoke to my grandson recently, I found out he was president of his year at college and that he was an inspirational speaker among his peers. So make quality time to spend time with your family.
- The scripture Matthew 6:1-4 warns us to “be careful not to practice your righteousness in front of others to be seen by them. If you do, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven.” Therefore, if we go about telling everyone and boasting about what you do then we are not really performing a ‘good deed.’
The next time you pass a homeless person, you may not have spare cash to give, but you can offer to share the sandwich you’ve just purchased, you never know that person could be an angel of God waiting to bless you.