Suppose a brother or sister is without clothes and daily food. If one of you says
to him, "Go, I wish you well; keep warm and well fed," but does nothing about
his physical needs, what good is it? (James 2:15-16).
There are those who do not know to do good, yet they do
it. And there are those who know to do good and do not do it. And there are those who fall
some where in the middle--or perhaps no where within any part of it. Many of us may
feel that we are what you might call "people of the Book," yet with all our
theological soundness, there are perhaps not nearly enough of us who practice the truths
We are a people guided by pastors and theologians who diligently dissect the Word of God
to further discover its truths. We have our meetings and times of Bible studies, and leave
such sessions thrilled by the intellectual stimulations and new spiritual insights. Yet,
all too often we then take our morsels of truth home with us and put them up on our book
shelves to gather dust, to later wonder why we don't see God's power in our lives.
If we look around, we will see some who practice mercy, some who practice truth, and
perhaps some who have learned how to balance the two. While mercy without truth can
lead to a lax approach to the adherence to God's standards; so also truth without mercy
can lead to cold, heartless legalism. The point is that we should be careful not to
stand too far to one side of a line that we draw to separate mercy and truth, but we must
realize that there is no line between God's Truth and God's Mercy--they are simply
qualities of Christ that we must allow to be manifested in us so we can effectively
While it is true that all people must learn God's truth and allow it to guide them, it is
as great a need for those who have learned the truth to live out that truth within their
lives. We can stand back and point fingers and complain about other faiths who seem to
embrace incorrect ideology. But it is far too often we who stand back and point out truth,
are guilty of taking no actions of mercy.
We could spend hours each day in God's Word, and we could study our commentaries, word
studies, lexicons and expository dictionaries; but if we do not put our faith into action
(not words alone) it is nothing. And those who do not seem to know what is right, yet do
what is right, they will be the ones who make the greatest impact.
Inflated intellects will not save the world. Neither will love without truth. As James has
written, faith without works is dead. It is a faith that lies dormant within a believer
who never shares it. It becomes a stagnate pond as it has no outlet. Before we point our
fingers at those who are seem Biblically impaired, we better remember that where they are
moving--we might be standing still.