An Act Of Faith
The primary property of faith is action. Action taken in response to what you believe.
“What good is it, my brothers and sisters, if someone claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save them? Suppose a brother or a sister is without clothes and daily food. If one of you says to them, ‘Go in peace; keep warm and well fed.’ But does nothing about their physical needs, what good is it? In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.” (James 2:14-17).
Or put another way, faith without action is simply a belief. For your actions will always demonstrate what you believe. But you will not always act based on all that you believe. Thus, faith is your beliefs, put into action. And beliefs without actions are simply personal preferences.
Now belief is good. But belief, by itself, does you and the world no good. Faith is your beliefs, put into action. Beliefs that aren’t put into action are merely subjects into which you have an interest.
Thus, a life without faith is not a life. Life without faith is death. For every single person who is alive today demonstrates what they believe, through their actions. All people are people of faith. For all of us take actions every single day, based on that which we believe.
Did you set an alarm to wake up this morning? That was faith. For the setting of your alarm was in response to the belief that you would be alive in the morning.
If you removed the belief that you would be alive in the morning, then there would be no need to set the alarm. In fact, in this scenario, not setting your alarm would have demonstrated your belief that you wouldn’t be alive in the morning. Thus, not setting your alarm would have also been an act of faith.
Yet, it’s possible that you could believe that you were going to wake up in the morning and still not set your alarm. This could simply mean that you didn’t have to get up at any specific time. Yet, setting your alarm, is an act of faith 100% of the time. For it’s an action that you have taken in response to what you believe. The action of setting the alarm was your movement from belief to faith.
You hold beliefs in many areas of your life, that never translate into action. I have a belief that physical activity is important in controlling weight and overall physical health. Yet, I don’t do anything different, during the course of my normal day, to increase my physical activity. Why? Because I only have a belief in the benefits of increased physical activity. I don’t have faith in it. If I did have faith in it, my actions would be different. For faith without action is simply belief.
So, now the question for you becomes: “Into what do I have faith?” Which is a very easy question to answer. All you need to do is simply keep track of what you do in your life. For what you do, your actions, will immediately reveal to you what you believe.
Conversely, you also need to get a handle on your beliefs. This one is little trickier. You have to make a “My Beliefs List”. This will include everything into which you have a belief. Like, UFO’s are real, your favorite team will win the championship, the greatness that is you, Jesus Christ, being rich is better, breakfast is the most important meal of the day, the election was rigged, I can get to it tomorrow, etc.
At first, don’t worry about whether or not you translate any of these beliefs into action. That will be handled in the next step. For now, simply make your list of all of your beliefs.
Now that you have both of your lists, compare and contrast. First, remove all of the things on your “My Beliefs List” that you are already translating into action. What is left? Why are these beliefs not translating into action in your life? No judgement. No condemnation. Just you getting real.
Next, now that you understand why your beliefs are not translating into faith, you have a decision to make. Do you want to take the necessary steps to transform some of your beliefs into faith? Are there beliefs on your list that you truly want to become your faith? Conversely, do you want to take the necessary steps to transform some of your faith back into beliefs? Are their things on your list that you would like to stop doing?
Now is the hard part. You’ve done all of this work to understand your faith and your beliefs. You have made decisions to transform some beliefs into faith and to stop translating other beliefs into faith. Now you must stop reading and get to doing. Which, by the way, is an act of faith!