What good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can that faith save him? If a brother or sister is poorly clothed and lacking in daily food, and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, be warmed and filled,” without giving them the things needed for the body, what good is that? So also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.
James 2:14-17 (ESV)
Last week, we discussed accountability. The beautiful thing about authenticity bringing accountability is that in Christ we are born into a second family of Believers who seek to live for the glory of the Lord. That second family should hold us accountable. One of the biggest ways we must hold each other accountable, is to simply ensure that we are all living an active and real faith.
In college, I pursued a degree in communication. In doing so, I had the opportunity to learn about how we utilize social media in our current society. Of course in school, you learn new terms and words in almost every class you take. In one of my classes, a key word struck me: slacktivism. Here, we are simply going to use Google’s definition of slacktivism:
“the practice of supporting a political or social cause by means such as social media or online petitions, characterized as involving very little effort or commitment.” (Source: Google)
What slacktivism essentially means is that you can post that you are for something on social media all you want – but if you follow through with any deed, are you accomplishing anything? I can post one caption per day on Instagram saying I am for rescuing puppies, but if I don’t follow through with any sort of action, does it really mean anything?
Your faith in Christ must bring you to action.
I believe this is easily relatable to our faith in Christ. We can claim we follow all we want, we can post that we Believe and worship Christ all we want, but if we don’t follow through, does that mean anything? James 2 gives us some pretty clear and in-your-face words when it comes to Scripture. Simply put, a faith in Christ that is not joined by deeds is essentially dead. This passage in James 2 focuses primarily on feeding the hungry and clothing the poor. If we are given an opportunity to show the love of Christ to someone in need, and we have the ability to meet that need, why would we pass up the opportunity to put our faith in action?
Likewise, in what is commonly known as the Great Commission in Matthew 28, we are not called to sit still and share the Gospel – but rather we are called into action to share the Gospel. Yes, that means maybe one day, we have to give up watching Netflix all day for the sake of putting action to our faith.
One of the most prevalent issues with our students is the ease in which that idea of slacktivism is available. It is much easier to share a post on Instagram than it is to share the Gospel. If you don’t post that you are for something – you must be against it. If you don’t share a certain post – you must not believe it. Pressing share or submit takes little-to-no commitment or effort, as the definition describes. Our faith should never be that way! We must put real-life action to our faith because a lack of faith has real-life consequences.
Sharing a post on social media isn’t action in our faith, sharing the Gospel and loving others is. If we get that part right, even though we aren’t perfect, we then can say that our faith is authentic, and if it isn’t authentic – it might as well not be there at all.