Walking through the streets of Chicago, one could be swept away by the sights, the smell of the famous Chicago style pizza and keeping in step with the pedestrians as the street lights begin to flash and the sound of car horns fill the air. As we turned the corner, all the hustle and bustle came to a halt as our eyes locked eyes with so many homeless people. “That person could be someone’s daughter…father…uncle…” were the words that crossed my mind. So, what did we do?
Have you been in that place? The place where you are in the midst of chaos and then something jumps out at you causing you to stop in your tracks needing to take action, action that tells what you really believe?
As a parent, we find ourselves in the hustle and bustle of life with our kids. It’s in this pace we can give our kids mixed signals of what we believe by the actions, or the deeds, we choose to show them.
James 2:17-18 reminds us faith, or what we believe, without deeds is useless. “…faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.”
Go back to those Chicago streets with me. I was with my granddaughter. I chose to hold her hand tight and walk by instead of choosing to help her-and them-learn about mercy and compassion. Useless.
Think of the parenting decisions you took action over the past week, or the past day. Were your faith and your actions working together to help your kid’s faith journey be made complete or might you have had useless moments as I did? Let’s face it, today’s world is more than hard for our kids. How could I/we expect them to do as we say if they don’t see us do what we believe? What makes our direction for their spiritual life justified? James 2:24 tells us how.
“You see, a person is justified by what he does and not by faith alone.” James 2:24
For our kids to face and overcome today’s challenges, going beyond coping to having the resilience needed to have the courage needed to stand for Christ and His ways into adulthood, it starts with you and me making sure we live faith congruent lives with them today. In those moments we fall short, it means we show up with honesty, truth, ownership and humility asking for forgiveness. It means giving and showing grace, mercy and love as we believe Christ has shown us.
Parents, whether your action is deciding to go to church as a family on the weekend or if you are faced with a parenting situation that stops you in your tracks, remember God has blessed you with opportunity to show your faith by what you do. Scripture shows us how to move away from useless faith. In those times your faith-life is forced open, showing its true colors, hold tight to God’s promise found in James 1:5-6a….
If you don’t know what you are doing, pray to the Father. He loves to help. You’ll get His help, and won’t be condescended to when you ask for it. Ask boldly, believing without a second thought.