In James 2 the author makes the case that faith without action is dead. “Show me your faith without action and I will show you faith by my action.” Theology is the study of right thinking about God and Christianity. Praxis is right action propelled by theology. Growing up a pastor’s kid mentored by youth group leaders and Christian professors and pastors, I have developed an affinity for theological books. I don’t understand them all, but there’s something about digging into C.S. Lewis or N.T. Wright or Dallas Willard reading by the fire on a snowy day that makes me feel close to God. Sometimes it feels like that’s the end goal, to feel close to God. But feeling close to God and being close to God are two different things, and I prefer the latter.
Being close to God is found in serving next to Him and participating in the work He’s already doing in the world. It’s having lunch with a homeless guy. It’s talking late into the night with a struggling friend. It’s cleaning the church building bathrooms on a Wednesday night. It’s being present with my children. It’s helping build a fresh water well in Africa. It’s serving in the local soup kitchen. It’s encouraging a coworker. It’s speaking truth where lies have been sown. It’s praying for hope to be restored in someone’s life. It is giving. Giving my time, my money, my talents, my passion, everything I have to do the work of God as informed by good theology. It is praxis.
I assume there are multiple expressions of praxis in your life, and I’m glad you’ve joined with God and ServLife to serve people in India and Nepal. Because of your generous actions, pastors are being trained and are starting churches in remote villages, children are being rescued and educated and loved, and families are being given hope and overcoming extreme poverty through small business loans. Thank you for taking action and caring for the least of these.
May God plant right thinking into our hearts that reaps proper action and justice. May we put our faith into action every day.