When all is said and done, there is a lot more SAID than done. Talk is cheap.
Lots of people can talk a good game. Very convincingly. But saying something doesn't make it so.
Not too long ago I got a phone call from "the government" telling me that a warrant had been issued for my arrest. Normally, that's not great news. But in this case, the government office supposedly on the other end of the phone was the special investigations branch of the Social Security Administration, so I wasn't too worried. It seems this agent had my file and, based upon what he had seen in there, he had already dispatched a team of agents to my address to arrest me. But then, wonder of wonders, this kind person decided to give me a chance. All I had to do was send in my fine via Western Union and all would be forgiven. (Imagine my relief!!!!!)
The person was insistent that I act IMMEDIATELY unless I wanted to spend some serious time in jail. Obviously, this was a hoax. This wasn't the "government" calling me and offering me one last chance. They were after my money. But to listen to them on the phone, their serious tone of voice, their absolute bravado was truly astonishing. They SOUNDED so convincing!!!
I confess that my response wasn't to take the "Christian" approach. Frankly, I figured one good lie deserved another. So I said, "You obviously know EXACTLY who I am, since you have my file. So you're aware that I'm an FBI agent, and have just been appointed as the new Special Agent In Charge for this region. So have your team come, you've got the address. When they show up they can show me their credentials, I'll show them my credentials; and we'll just see which one of us ends up in handcuffs." He hung up on me!!!!!
Those are two pretty powerful words. Of course I was lying, I've never been an FBI agent. I could make a strong sounding claim, but I could not back it up. I could never "prove it."
When it comes to claims of knowing God and His ways, James tells us our lives ought to be the proof of our claims. In other words, our lives should prove it.
What if "the government" had "your file" and, based upon what they saw in there, had already dispatched a team of agents to your address to arrest you …. FOR BEING A FOLLOWER OF JESUS. When they examined your life, would they find enough evidence to convict you? If the Eternal Security Administration wanted to put you on trial for claiming to be a Christian, would your life PROVE IT? Could they find evidence? Witnesses?
People want proof. They want to see the power of God active in our lives. They want to see answered prayers, changed circumstances and holy living. Light shines in darkness, and when it does, you can't hide it. The world is a dark and dangerous place, and it needs the love of Christ. Desperately.
But, please; don't just TELL me you're a believer. PROVE IT!