Day 10: James 2:20-26

Today’s reading gives two powerful Old Testament illustrations of faith in action.  James references two people who could have not been more different from each other, yet both used by God.  As always, your reflections are welcome.

You foolish person, do you want evidence that faith without deeds is useless? Was not our father Abraham considered righteous for what he did when he offered his son Isaac on the altar?  You see that his faith and his actions were working together, and his faith was made complete by what he did.  And the scripture was fulfilled that says, “Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness,” and he was called God’s friend.  You see that people are justified by what they do and not by faith alone.

In the same way, was not even Rahab the prostitute considered righteous for what she did when she gave lodging to the spies and sent them off in a different direction?  As the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without deeds is dead. (TNIV)

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2 thoughts on “Day 10: James 2:20-26

  1. Interesting that Rahab was considered righteous by lying, We need deeds so much that even if the deeds are usually unethical they are considered righteous if done by faith.

  2. Personally, I don’t consider it unethical that Rahab lied to protect the righteous from the unrighteous. In the same way, i wouldn’t consider it unethical for someone to lie to protect the vulnerable from the powerful who misuse their power against them (think about Nazi Germany, etc., or think about the help required by victims of domestic violence in our own culture).

    There is a time to come forcefully and powerfully against the forces of evil with bluntness and honesty. To have no regard for what the outcome might be for oneself. There is also a time to be as wise as a serpent, as it says somewhere in Proverbs. Sometimes this means lying to protect the innocent; soemtimes this means saying nothing in order to protect the innocent, while quietly going about one’s business of getting the innocent out of harm’s way.

    Some of my biggest regrets in life are not having screamed and yelled to protect others when I should have. Similarly, I regret times of screaming and yelling when I should have quietly and cunningly protected. It’s important to do it God’s way, whatever is required in the situation. Clearly, Rahab did just what God wanted and it was credited to her as righteousness.

    Sometimes I think that we, as Christians, are too gentle, too tentative. We need to get mad when others are victimized or have the potential to be victimized.

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