Faith without good deeds is the subject of my Life Group this evening. James 2:14-26 is the scripture that applies, and I relate to James call for followers to do good deeds.
God's plan is for me to help others who deal with a major issue that impacts my life. Gender Dysphoria haunted me for 47 years, and will always be a part of my life.
Now, I am being led to help people who are struggling with Gender Dysphoria, including family, friends, and community.
God blessed me to help others who are struggling, despite wishing this part of my life would be in my past.
Instead, there are those who need a voice who knows this issue intimately. And, I am willing to step up publicly once again, to share my story, and help.
Now, I am once again speaking about transgender issues publicly, and I have a feeling that I will always be talking about Gender Dysphoria.
Admittedly, I would love nothing more than to close the door on Gender discussions as I finally am happy with who I am, and where I am going. But, letting others suffer who otherwise would be helped is letting a good deed go by, and calls my faith into question.
God gives us the opportunity to do good deeds, like holding doors for those who don't expect it, volunteering to help out local charities, and stopping to help a person in need.
Faith without good deeds chosen by God
In my case, God chose me for a very specific need, and I think he probably chose you for a specific need. If you are like me, you probably feal really uncomfortable with the task he has for you. So maybe that's how we are able to be right by God?
– James 2:17. So you see, faith by itself isn't enough. Unless it produces good deeds, it is dead and useless.
I wonder, what about the people who develop faith later in their relationship with God, verses those who find faith earlier?
Are they right with God, despite having little or no time to perform good deeds?
Surely we are to perform good deeds in our daily walks as followers, and some of us will do more than others. But, I don't think God is going to keep score, rather, he is more concerned with our activity as followers.
James 2:22 – You see, his faith and his actions worked together. His actions made his faith complete.
Faith without Good deeds done selflessly
What about faith? Is it through good deeds that are faith grows? My challenge is seeking opportunity, and recognizing opportunity to do good deeds.
And I question good deeds done for selfish reasons? Selfishness is faith without good deeds despite benefiting others? That's going to take more than just a few sentences to answer. We will have to explore that in a future post.
James 2:24 – So you see, we are shown to be right with God by what we do, not by faith alone.
When we do good deeds, do we not find comfort knowing that we stepped up? Or, as we become more accustomed to doing God's will, we take our deeds for granite?
How about Abraham? Abraham's commitment to God is something that is unimaginable for most of us, we have to think about Rehab and her actions. She did after all hid the messengers, putting herself at risk. And the scripture said she is right with God for her actions.
James 2:25 – Rahab, the prostitute, is another example. She was shown to be right with God by her actions when she hid those messengers and sent them safely away by a different road.
How many of us take the time to recognize that our faith demands that we do good deeds? And what if we do not recognize our obligation to perform good deeds? As followers of Christ, I believe we are obligated to do good deeds. And, now you know what the Scripture says, according to Jesus' brother, James.
James 2:26 – Just as the body is dead without breath, Or without spirit. So also faith is dead without good works.