Read: James 2:14-17

So also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead. (v. 17)

For the past few years, I’ve wanted to lose a few extra pounds. I’ve said that I would eliminate sweets. I’ve said that I would create a habit of exercise; I’ve even made myself a schedule and blocked out time on my calendar. I’ve said that I would drink more water and get enough sleep. I’ve said all the right things. But I haven’t actually done them. So I haven’t lost any weight!

This result is not surprising to anyone, including me. I can say all the right things about becoming healthier, but talking isn’t going to get the results I want to see. I have to actually do the things I say. Talking about God is much the same way. Theology is important—the more we understand about who God is, the better disciples we can be. After all, if we don’t know anything about God, how can we act like God? But spouting good theology without any life change doesn’t do a whole lot of good.

If we talk about God creating the world and then trash it, our words ring untrue. If we say that Jesus loved the least and then turn our backs on the downtrodden, we make a mockery of our Lord. When we truly come to know Christ, we don’t just get the answers right in Sunday school. Our actions change, and we look more and more like Jesus. —Jen Petersen

As you pray, ask God to show you where your words and your actions don’t line up.