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Smiling Mannequins

Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works. James 2:18

Having been involved in sports my whole life, I can say with certainty that kids want the approval of their parents when they are playing sports. I can still remember the unbridled satisfaction I felt when my parents were in attendance at my sporting events, especially when I scored for our team. It is often humorous to watch a young child in a sports game. The younger they are, the more likely they are to look into the crowd for the approving eyes of their parents. As if just being allowed into the game isn’t enough to make them beam with excitement, please have mercy upon those awkwardly adjusted adult teeth they are getting if they actually score. The point scored and the head-jerk toward the stands happen almost simultaneously because children want their parents to be watching them. Things change as they get older, though. They are no longer looking at the stands during the game because their own competitive nature takes over and the urge to win overwhelms the desire to flash a toothy grin toward their parents. Besides, the coach would not leave them in the game very long if all they did was smile goofily toward the sideline. They would be of no use to their team. One thing never changes, however. No matter how old a child gets, he still likes to hear his parents tell him at the end of the game that he did a good job.

The Christian life is not much different in nature to a sports game. Being a Christian is a battle, it’s gritty, and it takes a lot of dedication and focus. We can say that we believe God can change lives and that this world can be turned back to Him. We can say that we believe in revival. We can say that we believe God can get us through any situation. But we don’t actually prove that until we get busy knocking on doors and telling others about Christ, until we are found on our knees in prayer, and until we throw all our problems on Christ in a trial. A kid who only smiles at the sidelines and doesn’t actually play when he’s in the game is no more useful than a mannequin, and a Christian who is only looking for approval for what he says he believes, instead of proving his faith by his works, is not much use to God either. We ought to be so busy in the work of the Lord that we only have time to every-once-in-a-while pause during a break to look up for a smile. There will be time when life is over to stand before God and hear Him say, “Well done.” But only if we are busy in His work today.

Read also: James 2:14-26

Quote of the day: "Never stop doing your best just because someone didn’t give you credit.”

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