Faithless faith – 1 John 3:16-18

John and James sound very similar here: if you’ve got the goods and you keep it to yourselves when there is a brother in need, your faith is a sham.  Sounds tough, but that’s really what is being said.  John says it like this:

if anyone has the world’s goods and sees his brother in need, yet g closes his heart against him, h how does God’s love abide in him?

Translation?  Your faith is a sham.

James says it like this:

If a brother or sister is poorly clothed and lacking in daily food, 16 q and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, be warmed and filled,” without giving them the things needed for the body, what good [2] is that? 17 So also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.

Translation?  Your faith is…you get the picture.

Despite our tendency to talk up a lot about faith and trusting in God, unless we’re acting on our faith by taking care of those around us with what we have, we’re fooling ourselves.  Remember where Jesus separated the sheep from the goats in Matthew 25?  Sheep were put on one side and goats on the other, the sheep heading to heaven and the goats to eternal punishment.  What made the difference?  It wasn’t simply a “profession of faith”…they all made that.  It was what they did.  The sheep actually acted on their faith and took care of the “least of these.”  They put feet to what they said.

We need to be a part of that Gathering Storm of compassion in action so that we do not fall victim to heartless, faithless religion.  “Little children, let us not love in word or talk but in deed and in truth.”