Sunday, October 25, 2009

Forced Words

Take a moment and evaluate this:

When someone is in a bad spot … They’ve had a car accident and are laid up … They are sick from an unexplained illness … They’re going through a divorce … They’ve lost their job and are struggling financially …. Their family member just died ….

…Or, they’re simply lonely and need someone to listen …

How do you react?

Do you force your words?

In the heat of a moment where you feel embarrassed pity, do you make an offer to help?

If so, what do you say?

What do you promise?

If we love as He loved us, what are we doing … here in Priscilla’s and Aquila’s Place … to be there for those who are in need – physically, emotionally, spiritually?

Do we shrink away?

Do we say, “I’d love to help, but tonight I have Bible study. But I’ll pray for you.”

Do we say, “Call me if you need something!”

Because, see … both of those statements are empty promises. They are forced words. They don’t mean anything.

Be honest. Do you really think that someone who is needy is going to call you? Do you think they will take the risk to swallow their pride and say, “I am in need of help?”

Now what if you say, “Can I do something for you?” and the person actually takes you up on it and says, “Yes, thank you,” do you follow through?

Do you really mean it? Do you intend on action?

Here’s the rub about Christian living:

We can go to church every Sunday, volunteer at the soup kitchen and teach Sunday School. We can worship with our hands in the air while we sing at the top of our lungs and proclaim the salvation of Jesus to the world.

But what if our words don’t have actions to accompany them?

Consider this.

“Dear friends, do you think you'll get anywhere in this if you learn all the right words but never do anything? Does merely talking about faith indicate that a person really has it? For instance, you come upon an old friend dressed in rags and half-starved and say, ‘Good morning, friend! Be clothed in Christ! Be filled with the Holy Spirit!’ and walk off without providing so much as a coat or a cup of soup—where does that get you? Isn't it obvious that God-talk without God-acts is outrageous nonsense?

“I can already hear one of you agreeing by saying, "’Sounds good. You take care of the faith department; I'll handle the works department.’

“Not so fast. You can no more show me your works apart from your faith than I can show you my faith apart from my works. Faith and works, works and faith, fit together hand in glove.

“Do I hear you professing to believe in the one and only God, but then observe you complacently sitting back as if you had done something wonderful? That's just great. Demons do that, but what good does it do them? Use your heads! Do you suppose for a minute that you can cut faith and works in two and not end up with a corpse on your hands?”

That’s James 2: 14-20.

So what about it?

How are you reacting, or acting, towards the needs of those around you – not just strangers but friends or those in the church who need someone to prop them up?

Are you acting, or are you doling out empty promises, cloaked in polite conversation?

Are you speaking forced words?

Are you loving the way He intends you to love?

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