James 2:14-3:18

Hopefully the point of this devotional was obvious through the study of the passage. Simply put, the message for today is this (to quote an overused cliché) “If you can’t walk the walk, don’t talk the talk.”

A great reformer of his day, Francis of Assisi, once said “we must preach always, and, when necessary, use words.”

If an invisible person were to watch your life in every moment, even when you were alone (especially behind the wheel of your car!) would the behaviors of your life and the speech of your mouth spoken in the heat of the moment, reflect the “spiritual confessions” that you make to your Christian friends? Once again, simply put, does your walk match your talk?

If you are like most Christians, you will probably be forced to answer, “No” to that question. Why is that? Why are most Christians, when pressed against the wall, not that much different than their pagan neighbors? One reason may be that our cultural Christianity has made it very easy to be a Christian. We just have to go to church, read our Bible, and say nice things to people, and viola! we are Christians. How sad that is. That is not the good news or the hope that Jesus brought when He introduced the Kingdom of God to the world. A relationship with Jesus is an inside out transformation. A Christian should be a WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get). The reason most of us don’t walk the talk is because the talk is just talk to us. It has no power, it has no substance. We want to believe it, but, in comparison to the “real world” it just doesn’t seem to be all that important. When we can break free of that type of “inside the city” thinking (refer to yesterday’s devotional) we will realize that a relationship with Jesus should and will produce a total overhaul of our attitudes and actions. If you are clean inside, then you will love even when you are not loved back. If you are clean inside, then you will praise God, even when you are persecuted.

This is not meant to be a shaming session, saying “shame on you, you bad person.” It is meant to be a guilt trip though. If you are guilty of buying into the world’s lies that Jesus has no power to change your attitudes, then all you need to do is say, “Guilty as charged.” I confess it, and I repent from it. Jesus, I am your humble servant, make me clean.” Then, through the power of the Spirit, you will start making right choices when you are pressed against the wall.

May we give up our need to be “right” and surrender control of our lives to the Holy Spirit today. May we be transformed from the inside out so that our actions and our speech will flow from the heart of God, and not our own sinful desires.

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