Wow! I can’t believe it’s been 25 days since my last posting. Summertime has once again taken over, and although I am not on vacation from God (see my last post), time has a way of getting away from me in the summer. Being at home with the kids, I’m cooking more, cleaning more, playing games and going swimming and oh, the laundry! Don’t get me started.
Anyway, my pastor preached an awesome message yesterday about James 2:17 (and surrounding verses), which said that faith without works is dead (or as he put it, useless). And it really made me think. He used an example of someone who wants to exercise to be healthy and fit, so he researches exercise, he makes a plan, he goes to the gym, but he doesn’t exercise. He just watches. He wipes down the machines, because they are sweaty. But he never actually exercises.
I recognized myself in that example. Most of the things I do are well thought out–sometimes too well thought out. And too often, I think about something for a long, long time. And then, I don’t do anything at all!
This tendency is part of my personality. I remarked to my husband later that I would have made a great Greek philosopher. Other people that I know have the tendency to jump in without thinking much at all. That’s part of their personality. But neither one of those things is really what God intends for us. Hint: we need to let Him lead.
Anyway, my pastor’s message got me thinking. If our faith is only really faith when out of that faith flows action, how is my faith doing? What do I really believe, if my belief is determined by my actions?
I concluded that what I say I believe doesn’t always coincide with what I do. I say that I believe God has called me to write, but I have spent the summer making excuses for why I just can’t write today. I say that I believe God wants me to take care of the things He has given me, but I overeat, don’t exercise, my house is extremely cluttered, and don’t get me started on my lawn and my garden. I say that my kids are important, then too often complain about meeting their needs and tell them I’m too busy to do things with them.
A lot of things are getting in the way of my living out what I believe. I have allowed myself to get mightily distracted by some of the things of this world, and the uselessness of it all has finally impressed itself upon me. So today, I am spending time making a list of those things and deciding to limit or eliminate them. I think that’s what the verse in Hebrews means when it says not to love this world. When I choose Criminal Minds over using my own mind to meditate on the things of God, I am loving this world too much and God too little.
I’m not alone in this. I am going to need God’s help every day, every moment. But at least if I remove some of the distractions, I may be able to focus more on Him and less on me. And with His help, I may be able to do the work He has for me while I’m here.
What things are getting in the way of your relationship with God? What things are getting in the way of doing what God wants you to do? It’s well worth turning off the TV, powering down Facebook, and making your own list.