If you have ever been to a party or a gathering of people, one of the first “ice breaker” questions that people ask each other is, “SO… WHAT DO YOU DO?”
When we don’t know someone very well, it’s easy to talk about ourselves as a way of introduction. We might say, “I’m in sales. My company makes widgets.” Or you might hear, “I’m in nursing. I work at Vandy ER.” Or, like one guy I met who said, “I’m in the toilet…” “Huh?” I said in surprise. To which he replied, “I’m a plumber.”
Notice that it’s always easier to say what you DO than what you DON’T DO. We’re familiar with ourselves. We’ve been through the training and the experience. It’s become part of our lives and our identity. We can talk about what we DO all day long! You’d NEVER hear someone come up to you and ask, “Hey, nice to meet you! What do you NOT DO?”
The funny thing is, that when we talk about our FAITH, we talk about what we BELIEVE. We talk philosophy. We talk Bible. We talk Jesus. And that is all great! But at some point, the conversation leads around to what our FAITH tells us NOT TO DO.
Don’t love false gods. Don’t lie. Don’t cheat. Don’t commit adultery. Don’t do a whole list of stuff! And these DON’Ts become our definition of what it means to BE HOLY. To be set apart to take on the character of our Holy God. To be HOLY means we DON’T DO a lot of prohibited things.
At least that’s the way that so many of us look at HOLINESS. And that’s why it is so difficult for us to try to live a Holy Life – because we look at it from the standpoint of what we’re NOT supposed to DO! “To be Holy means I can’t do this,” or “I have to abstain from that.”
But here’s the deal… in the culture of the Bible, FAITH = FAITHFULNESS. “Faith” is a verb. Faith is WHAT YOU DO. It is NOT the Absence of something, but the Presence of something!
Living to Avoid Sin is not Living Holy.
Holiness is not about abstaining, it is about Spreading.
Holiness is not about what your hands can’t touch, it is about what your hands CAN DO.
Holiness is not about shutting down, it is about opening up and DOING.
James, the half-brother of Jesus explained the importance of DOING as it applies to our FAITH:
17 So also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.
18 But someone will say, “You have faith and I have works.” Show me your faith apart from your works, and I will show you my faith by my works (James 2:17-18).
The point that James is trying to make is NOT that we are saved by our actions, but that our ACTIONS – OUR DOING – demonstrates the Faith that we have and the Faithfulness that is our way of life. Again, Faith is a Verb. It is HOW WE LIVE OUT OUR LIVES. If everything we DO is in pursuit of our relationship with Jesus Christ, then SIN CANNOT WIN!
So, we mustn’t worry so much about staying away from sin, rather, we are to concern ourselves with what we DO for Christ and because of Christ. Because what we DO is what people see. What we DO is what shows our faithfulness to God. What we DO is a reflection of GOD’s DOING in our lives. In all that we DO, let us DO it well so that we bring honor to the One who DID for us.
God bless you all, and we hope to see you Sunday!