A while back a friend told me they were going to do something significant for me. That something never did get done. A few days after the fact, I got to thinking about what we, as believers, say and do on a daily basis and how it affects our witness and integrity. There are many types of people in the world. We all have unique personalities shaped by our life’s circumstances as well as the parts that are given to us by our Creator. But something that every single one of us should always do is keep our word.
Jesus’ words were never more clear about this subject in Matthew 5:37: “But let your ‘Yes’ be ‘Yes,’ and your ‘No,’ ‘No.’” (NKJV) In this context he was speaking of simply saying yes or no, versus swearing by anything. But there is so much wisdom in Jesus’ words. If we say we will, then we need to do so. If we say we will not, we need to follow through with our word.
Another great teaching from the Bible that came to my mind during this time really brought more wisdom to the subject at hand. In James 2:14-26, we learn about what faith truly is. Faith by itself is actually nothing. It is dead. But when we place action along with that faith, it is alive. In verses 15 and 16 the example is given, “If a brother or sister is poorly clothed and lacking in daily food, and one of you says to them, ‘Go in peace, be warmed and filled,’ without giving them the things needed for the body, what good is that?” (ESV) This is a beautiful illustration that cuts to the heart of the matter beautifully. Well-wishes are meaningless in a world full of suffering. It is only by doing something tangible that we can strengthen our brothers and sisters.
So many times we see a need among our brothers and sisters; we want badly to help, but we just don’t know how. Or maybe we do know how, but we can’t afford it. Maybe we have so many ideas that we walk away wondering which one is best, only to get caught up in the busy life we have and forget to do anything at all. Everyone is at risk for these shortcomings. Afterall, we are all human – living in a fallen world – corrupted by sin. But with the Holy Spirit, I believe we have something others don’t: a Helper.
There is an Amish proverb that I read recently: “One little deed done in time is worth more than a thousand good intentions.” How very true. So next time, instead of talking about helping a friend in need, make the plan to do something tangible. Make a meal, send an anonymous gift card for gas or groceries, clean someone’s house who can’t do it themselves. Make the plan and follow through. You will be building up treasures in Heaven by serving your fellow man as you make this world a better place, deed by deed.
Let your yes be yes and your no be no, and do what you say. One little deed, afterall, can show a fallen world what living with real faith is all about.