St. James was an apostle of Jesus who devoted his life to proclaiming the word of God. He noticed that Jewish Christians who were scattered amongst the nations were worldly in their habits and he sought to show them that faith without works is dead. Their habits included favoritism, quarreling and boasting. He recognized that it was possible to believe all of the right things and still live the wrong way. James urged the people to put their faith into action through their words and deeds.
"If you really keep the royal law found in Scripture, "Love your neighbor as yourself," you are doing right. But if you show favoritism, you sin and are convicted by the law as lawbreakers. For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles at just one point is guilty of breaking all of it." James 2:8-10
"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." 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.... James 2:14-19 You see that a person is justified by what he does and not by faith alone." James 2:24
This is what I was reading about today in my bible and wanted to share it. His Feast Day is not until July but while reading the first few chapters of the book of James, the words "Our actions matter" jumped out at me. We must do more than say we are children of God, we must show it in our daily lives to our families, friends and neighbors.
Why is it then when we strive to live out the word of God, we can be perceived as "goody two-shoes?" As if loving your neighbor as yourself is somehow old fashioned... something looked down upon? If we were to believe the world, we would live as if love was a feeling of self-satisfaction instead of God's way. Jesus said, "My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends. John 15:12-13
Tough words to live by in our modern age. It seems as if we are not much different than the people during the time of St. James. We must strive to live this way if we are to truly be children of God.