faith and death

Posted: January 23rd, 2010 | Filed under: life | Tags: | 9 Comments »

Sometimes I get letters from people who want to bash their fellow Christians and think I’m game for a little stone slinging.

I am not here to give anyone the ammunition to return the condemnation. I offer evidence of an ocean of grace for the purpose of showing you the unlocked shackles and pointing you to the light under the door. We move in whispers and don’t waste time with small talk and tea, much less showers. This is gritty business.

It angers me to watch the newly free immediately capture a religious bully and shove them in the prison they’re barely out of.

Did they learn nothing during their stay? It’s not possible to receive grace and still want others to suffer. Faith in your own salvation and gift of grace is dead without working out that truth for others. What you give is only the overflow of what you’ve been given.

You can no more show me your works apart from your faith than I can show you my faith apart from my works. Faith and works, works and faith, fit together hand in glove. Do I hear you professing to believe in the one and only God, but then observe you complacently sitting back as if you had done something wonderful? That’s just great. Demons do that, but what good does it do them? Use your heads! Do you suppose for a minute that you can cut faith and works in two and not end up with a corpse on your hands? -James 2:18-20

‘Faith‘ is in Jesus as the savior. ‘Works’ is never denying that to anyone regardless of how they’ve hurt you. When you receive that gift, don’t sit around and start pointing your fingers at others who don’t get it because, then, you’ll be lost to it.

This is important: you are weighed on your own scales and then some. If it’s good, it’s better for you. If it’s bad, it’s worse for you.

“Pay attention to what you hear: with the measure you use, it will be measured to you, and still more will be added to you. For to the one who has, more will be given, and from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away.” -Mark 4:24-25

If you have written off a fellow believer who does not understand grace the way you do or they’ve been rude or condemning toward you, then you have set one side of your scale on perfection and put him on the other. When it’s your turn, you’ll be weighed against perfection, too. You are choosing prison over freedom. You have to change what you’re measuring. You can’t remove ‘perfect’ and replace it with you, either. You remove them and put Jesus in their place. That way, when you get weighed, you get to have Jesus in your place, too.



9 Comments on “faith and death”

  1. 1 Melanie said at 1:11 pm on January 23rd, 2010:

    OUCH and WOW all in one. Another good lesson. Thank you!

  2. 2 Serena Woods said at 1:17 pm on January 23rd, 2010:

    Thanks, Melanie. 🙂

  3. 3 Lisa@blessedwithgrac said at 3:49 pm on January 23rd, 2010:

    Wow! Very well spoken. There is way too many believers judging others. How are we to be the body of Christ if we are too busy condemning our own?? Who are we to condemn and deny?


  4. 4 Michelle said at 4:51 pm on January 23rd, 2010:


  5. 5 Jason said at 8:24 pm on January 23rd, 2010:

    Incredible post Serena. I grow so tired of reading blog post after blog post of people ripping and mocking fellow believers. It certainly doesn't build up the body of Christ.

  6. 6 Sisterlisa said at 11:06 am on January 24th, 2010:

    Well put, Serena.

  7. 7 April said at 1:14 pm on January 24th, 2010:

    I like this. It serves as a great reminder to all of us to glorify God in every way… our speech comes to mind here. How often do we love to talk and not think before we speak.

    I read this the other day and thought it was so good and simple to remember- 3 things to think about before you open your mouth (or before you start to type an email…whatever it may be)

    1. Is what I'm going to say about that other person Kind?

    2. Is it necessary?

    3. Is it true?

    Some things may be true, but not kind or necessary. I don't know… I may be going off course here… but it really helps me to rest in the assurance that God will take care of things! A lot of times mud-slinging goes on in our family. This is different, but I realize change can start with me! Someone in the family called me to tell me about something that someone else had said about me… It was hurtful. I didn't know where to go with it. So. I went to God. He gave me rest.

  8. 8 Michelle said at 6:22 pm on January 24th, 2010:

    Ouch and wow is so right! I've been having a situation that I've been trying to take God's truth and my learned truths to, and they're clashing. This is exactly what I needed. It's always refreshing reading what you write – I feel like I grow so much more spiritually each time. Thank you!

  9. 9 Serena Woods said at 7:01 pm on January 24th, 2010:

    I spend quite a bit talking about how we, as a church, get it wrong, but make a point to offer scriptural examples of how to get it right. I think it's useless to complain about something without providing an alternate course of action. Some of my readers take the wrong and want to complain more. I just want my readers to use the scripture to empower them to be the difference they want to see.