Is your faith genuine or questionable? Are you deceived into thinking that the “faith” you display is honoring to God? Do you know what faith is or what that looks like in someone’s life? Let me mention that most of the so-called “faith” we have is coined (by me) as Hollywood faith. What do I mean by Hollywood faith? I am glad you asked!
Hollywood faith is a fictitious misleading show with a religious twist. It invokes God’s name into a life of a person who isn’t seeking to honor his name. This person wants to appear religious yet sacrifice nothing and pursue their hearts desires. They don’t understand repentance, endurance, or dependence on God alone. Yet they embrace worldliness and selfishness believing they are accepted by God. They go to church and read the bible, shouldn’t that be enough?
James writes his epistle to a young church addressing this very idea of genuine faith. The goal of the text is promote examination of one’s faith in God, but also to teach the proper avenue in addressing sin and unbelief in others. How does James test these readers faith? The tests of genuine faith include:
Test of trials
Test of temptations
Test of responsiveness to God’s word
Test of impartiality
Test of good works
Test of speech
Test of wisdom
Test of worldliness
Test of dependence
Test of endurance
Test of truthfulness
Test of prayer
Wow! James isn’t playing around when it comes to faith. Throughout the epistle James to debunking the idea that believers can do whatever they want in life. While reading, James seems to understand that among his audience there are those who are not displaying genuine faith. Rather they are taking it upon themselves to judge others and chase after pleasure and selfish gain. James wants this Church to approach one another with an unconditional love and truthfulness resulting in repentance and restoration.
I encourage you to look at these tests and make a chart outlining the proofs of faith vs the proofs of selfishness. Examine your life against the word of God and not to any other standard. To hold your life up to some else’s life, or to entertainment, or to your family/friends at best can boost your self-esteem, at worst you become deceived and the error of your way leads to death. I pray that your faith is grounded in the word of God and is not a show of selfishness. Don’t submit to this Hollywood-like faith that is really not faith at all! Faith is believing in a set of facts. Faith is not believing in emotions or experience. These facts shape the way a person chooses to live their life. Hebrews 11:1 states
Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.
Know the facts by reading the word of God. Examine your life in light of the word of God. Restore others with the truth of the word of God! If you are any thing like me I have not measured up but I do serve a faithful God and he sanctifying me daily.
With Great Love and Truth,