Are you a person who likes to be busy working or doing something? Or are you someone who prefers to let someone else do the work? Have you truthfully looked in the mirror to determine which camp you fall into?
It is rare that we find someone who never sits down or someone who absolutely refuses to leave their bed. Yet, most of us lean more toward one of those than the other. As we evaluate our preference, we also must evaluate the work we do.
We have all used the terms lazy, couch potato, or moocher. We have also used workaholic, never sits down, or good work ethic to describe people. Most of us do not want to be identified as being in the first category. Yet, we don’t really want to be so absorbed in our work that we are considered in the second category. We strive for balance.
We also need a balance in our faith life. Our faith cannot be one that does nothing. Yet, our faith cannot cause us to be so busy we don’t pause to spend quiet time with God. We need balance. The balance comes when we are in continual conversation with God and following His guidance.
Faith does require us to work. In fact, there is a hybrid word I have heard, and perhaps you have, too, that I really like—faithworks. It means we work by and in faith. We do the works faith calls us to do. We also work with a faith that tells us God will provide. Finally, the word means faith is always at work in us. The multiple meanings of that hybrid word is both comforting and inspiring.
James tells us in today’s passage that we cannot have a faith that does not cause us to do good works. He says that faith is dead. In other words, it is merely belief and not faith. At that point, we are no better off than the demons James mentions in 2:19.
Lest we become anxious or worried about our faith, working does not mean we must feed and clothe the world, attend every event, nor be someone we are not. It does mean we are to take on doing what God has prepared in advance for us to do (Ephesians 2:10).
God is not asking us to be so busy working for Him that we fail to spend quiet time with Him. In fact, just the opposite. God has prepared good works for us to do while leaving time for us to be quiet before Him. Unfortunately, we too often fill the quiet time with worldly noise.
I pray we all put our faith to work. I pray we go about doing the good works God has prepared for us. I pray each one of us finds balance between works and quiet time. Faithworks. Put your faith into action. Be quiet before God. Find the balance God desires for you.
James 2:26 As the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without deeds is dead.