Faith Without Works is Dead
Posted by themiracleisaroundthecorner
The title of this post has come up for me in several readings recently, and I really did not have a good understanding of its meaning. Finally, today, I think I have it. Which is why “there are no coincidences”… I obviously have been meant to understand this phrase, and if I just gloss over it (which I have), it will come back again and again until I take the time to understand it.
I believe it was originally used in the Bible, on more than one occasion, but it is also used in the AA Bible (the Big Book), and in other AA literature that I have read. As recently as today, I have come across a similar line:
…faith alone is insufficient. To be vital, faith must be accompanied by self-sacrifice and unselfish, constructive action.
So why does this keep coming up in my life? There are probably a lot of reasons, but today especially, I believe I was meant to put it into practice. Recently, I have been struggling a bit with my son in helping him to understand why he needs to change his behavior. I feel like I have tried everything: talking, threatening, punishment, silent treatment (try the silent treatment on a 9-year-old boy if you want to have a good laugh!), you name it, I feel like I’ve tried it. He is such a smart kid, but he keeps repeating the same mistakes (wonder where he learned that?).
Of course, as a Mother, I feel completely responsible… if he cannot grasp the concept of learning from past mistakes, then I am not doing my parenting job properly. In addition to the actions listed above, I have also prayed on this subject, and actively tried to turn it over to God, but still the answer had not come.
And then I read the sentence above this morning, and it hit me… am I doing enough unselfish, constructive action as far as my son is concerned? Sure, I’ve tried to instill the idea of consequences, but how about proactively guiding him in the right direction before he makes the same mistakes? I don’t think I have ever tried to get in front of the problem, I’ve only reacted to mistakes after they are made.
Disclaimer: this is going to get a little religious…
And I was only able to have that thought after reflecting on the idea of what I can do in an unselfish way to better act out God’s will. I pray every morning for God to direct my thoughts and actions to better serve Him, but what am I actually doing about it? Faith without works is dead… I can believe in God all I want, but until I can talk the talk, and walk the walk, then my faith really has no meaning, and just understanding that has opened my mind up to new possibilities.