It's been a rough week. We found out that a friend that we consider family will be leaving us on January for another base. We also found out that some people we thought were our friends weren't really. My own heart has been up and down with emotion, probably because of my medication, but if you add it all up it just equals a really difficult week to get through.
It's one of those weeks where you feel your prayers are not being answered. In fact, you feel that God is doing the exact opposite of what you have been asking, and you're not sure why. I know we've all been there, and it's not a very good feeling. It can leave you feeling very alone and, truth be told, a little resentful.
Michael and I had a long talk yesterday about the kinds of Christians we want to be and teach our son to be. There are far too many people in this world who are "Sunday Christians". They can preach the word exact without even looking at a Bible. They can smile and nod and sing with their hands raised. Their words are mighty. They preach about never doubting, never sinning, never having ill will...but words is all it is. If you look at their life and what they do, you don't see anything Christian about it. They take and take without giving. They sin against themselves and others without batting an eye. They condemn those who curse and fornicate and don't go to church every Sunday, but they are some of the least Christian people I know.
They are the people who turn others off to Christianity.
Michael and I are sinners. We lived together before marriage, and we have both been known to out curse a sailor. Neither of us has ever proclaimed self perfection (though we both see it in our son...we are his parents) and we try not to damn others for what they do. Some of the most Christian people I have ever met aren't what most would think of as Christian. Some of them I doubt even consider themselves such. But they are. They are spreading the word and love of Jesus every day...without the need of throwing His name around like some Free Pass card.
We had this conversation yesterday in the truck, (which is being loaned to us by someone with one of the biggest hearts I know while we wait for our car to be fixed...almost 3 months now and still waiting) and then today as I was flipping through the Book trying to find a passage that touched me for Scripture Sunday, I came across this gem! Funny how God works. In one random flip of a page He showed me that, not only is he listening despite the fact that I might not like his answers to my prayers, but that I am not completely off in how I think of Him, despite the fact that I am one who those Sunday Christians would probably "pray for".
Who am I to ignore such a strong "coincidence".
What good is it, my brothers, if a man claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save him? Suppose a brother or sister is without clothes and daily food. If one of you says to him, "Go, I wish you well; keep warm and well fed," but does nothing about his physical needs, what good is it? In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.
But someone will say "You have faith; I have deeds,"
Show me your faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by what I do. You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that-and shudder.
You foolish man, do you want evidence that faith without deeds is useless? Was not our ancestor Abraham considered righteous for what he did when he offered his son Isaac on the alter? You see that his faith and his actions were working together, and his faith was made complete by what he did. And the scripture was fulfilled that says, "Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness," and he was called God's friend. You see that a person is justified by what he does and not by faith alone.
In the same way, was not even Rahab the prostitute considered righteous for what she did when she gave lodging to the spies and sent them off in a different direction ? As the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without deed is dead.