I am (as you've probably gathered if you’ve ever read my blog) a high-performance oriented individual. Which means that I have a really hard time not getting caught up in the mentality of “I need to do more for God” and “I’m not a ‘good enough’ Christian because I don’t do enough.” I know these thoughts are twisted theology and that I can do absolutely nothing to earn my salvation. But I wrestle with this idea all the time. Very, very (very) often, I do not live in a way that a Christ-follower should, so I get caught up in question “What more I can do to live better?"
I don't think that I’m alone in this either. I see this same struggle so often in the lives of other Christians around me. I get convicted and frustrated when I compare the number of people who proclaim Christ in their lives with the number of orphans in the world, or the number of people who have had bitter, hurtful interactions with Christians and hate the church because of it. What is going on here?? Again, my instant reaction is “Why aren’t we doing more?”
But a thought hit me on the way to work this morning. Maybe the issue is not that we as Christians don’t DO enough of what the Bible says we should. Rather, I think that we just don’t BELIEVE the Bible enough to actually do what it says. Salvation isn’t about works, but if we REALLY believed what we SAY we believe, it would show in our actions, in our words, in our checkbooks, in our relationships. The problem is not, not doing - it’s not believing.
While nowhere does the Bible indicate that one can earn salvation, there are plenty of verses that point to our actions lining up with our proclaimed belief.
"If anyone has material possessions and sees his brother in need but has no pity on him, how can the love of God be in him? Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth." - 1 John 3:17-18
"Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says." - James 1:22
"Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a workman who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth." - 2 Timothy 2:15
"For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do." - Ephesians 2:8-10
So I guess the question I have to ask myself and the Christian community in general is this: If our actions reflect our belief... How is it that an entire society of Christians are believing without BELIEVING?