Faith In Practice (James 2:14-17)

It happened suddenly. Nearly ten years ago, my medical practice was in shambles as I lost nearly all of my staff due to a variety of circumstances. I was able to hire four new employees, all with no experience in working in a dermatopathology laboratory. While I worked to train them, it was interfering with my patient care responsibilities. My wife attempted to help but she was busy with her own dental practice. I was falling behind and concerned that I would make a mistake, potentially harming a patient. 

Unexpectedly, a brother in the church I was attending at that time called me. He knew of my situation and after praying with me, he offered the following, “Brother, I would like to help you out. My wife has experience working in a medical clinic. We both agreed that it would be a practical way to put our faith in practice and help out your business for a short period of time, until your staffing stabilizes.”

I was stunned. I knew how important his wife was to him to organize his professional responsibilities as well as to care for their family. They were both making a great sacrifice to assist me and my practice and I was grateful. 

What good is it, my brothers and sisters, if someone claims to have faith but does not have works? Can such faith save him? If a brother or sister is without clothes and lacks daily food and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, stay warm, and be well fed,” but you don’t give them what the body needs, what good is it? In the same way faith, if it does not have works, is dead by itself.

James 2:14-17 (CSB)

I will never forget the sacrifice this couple made for me. The two of them embodied the Bible’s command to put one’s faith into practice. Within a month, my practice was stabilized and my friend’s wife returned to his side. We can all seek to follow God’s command of perfecting our faith with good works. As the great Protestant reformer John Calvin opined, “Faith alone saves, but faith that saves is not alone.”


Love and trust the Lord; seek His will in your life.

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