Thursday, August 14, 2008

Faith-based feet

Where is your faith -- or mine? How is it visible? Paul says it's in your mouth and heart (Romans 10), which it surely is. Yet I've heard more than one sermon saying that your faith -- your true priorities -- are shown in your Day-Timer® and your checkbook.

The Apostle Thomas, one of my faith heroes, showed faith with his feet. When Jesus wanted to go to Bethany, it was Thomas who said, "Let us go also, that we may die with him" (John 11:16). How much faith was he showing there? He seemed to think they were headed for death, but he still went with Jesus.

Nine chapters later, Thomas says, "Unless I see the nail marks in his hands... I will not believe" that the others had seen Jesus alive again (John 20:25). His mouth claims he hasn't much faith. But as Yancey points out in Reaching for the Invisible God, Thomas is hanging out with the others when he says this! His mouth may doubt, but when he votes "with his feet," we see that he is solidly with Jesus and with His followers.

Thomas followed Jesus to Bethany, thinking he might be walking into death. He followed Jesus to Jerusalem. He kept company with the disciples, though he claimed he didn't believe.

Were his feet a leading indicator of where his heart was truly headed? A few verses later, Thomas confesses Jesus as "My Lord and my God" (John 20:28).

And how about us? If a man says he's not sure about Jesus, but he goes to church, thinks about the sermons, gives to the poor and to missions, reads the Bible -- is this a man of faith? How about a man who says he believes in Jesus but does none of those things? How real is either man's faith?

I thank God it's not my job to decide such things. What is my job, though, is to "walk the talk." If I say I believe in Jesus, do I worry? Do I pray? Do I give to the poor? Do I read and think about his words?

slight revision posted here

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