I’m not a Christian and haven’t been for a while, but after finally growing out of my edgy teenage atheist phase (to the relief of myself and everyone around me), I’ve begun reading the Bible with a renewed appreciation.
While I certainly don’t agree with everything it has to say, there is still plenty of wisdom to be found within its pages.
After now having read the entire book start to finish a number of times, I’ve found the passage I keep coming back to is from the Epistle of James 2: 14-17 (KJV):
“What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? Can faith save him?
If a brother or sister be naked, and destitute of daily food,
And one of you say unto them, ‘Depart in peace, be ye warmed and filled’, notwithstanding ye give them not those things which are needful to the body, what doth it profit?
Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone.”
This to me is one of the most insightful passages in the entire Bible and one that we could certainly benefit from paying more attention to.
How often have we seen someone, in the wake of a tragedy, offer their “thoughts and prayers” to the victims and then going on with their day without a second thought?
It’s a clever rhetorical tactic since it allows the person to pretend to care about others without actually doing anything to help which is why “thoughts and prayers” is a staple of any politician’s phrase book.
Of course, one can easily fall into this trap despite having good intentions.
There are plenty of people who will genuinely proclaim themselves to support something but, when asked what they have actually done, will draw a blank. I know I’ve certainly been guilty of this more times than I’d like.
However, as the Epistle of James says, it’s not enough to simply have faith. To truly make a difference, you need to combine your faith with action.
Now not all of us can go out and become monks or hardcore environmentalists, obviously, but there are plenty of ways to put your beliefs into action in your everyday life.
For example, you could get involved in an organisation dedicated to your cause. Whatever it is you support, there is a 99% chance that somewhere there is a group for it. If there isn’t, why not start your own?
Thanks to the internet, connecting with like-minded people is easier than ever.
There are a bazillion other ways you can help your cause or raise awareness. Fundraisers, petitions, public speaking, writing to the newspaper, starting a blog … the possibilities are endless.
However you do it, the important thing is that you are taking action and not just sitting around, hoping things will change on their own.
If everyone did their part, however little it may be, perhaps we’d start to see some real change in the world.