How difficult is it to hold in balance self-development and giving ourselves for others?
Reference: v. 19 You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that – and shudder.
Explore: This is James' most famous passage, where the writer says that faith without deeds is dead. We may believe in God but if we put no action behind it then our faith stands for nothing.
Application: I have been thinking about Theological education lately. It's not that I want to go back and do more (somehow I passed my degree and I'm surprised everytime I see my graduating certificate!) It's obvious to me that I am not a deep theological thinker, and I'm ok with that. I see myself as having more practical and simple theology for the everyday person to be able to understand. However I've been trying to think of a purpose for deeper theological knowledge. I know the more I studied the more questions I had and the harder my faith seemed to be! But there are certainly people who just love deeper theological understanding and exploration.
I guess if there were no deeper theological exploration I may not be in my current position, maybe women would never have been allowed into ministry. And if there were not the deep theologians we would be stuck in the dark ages of theology and maybe the Reformation would never have happened!?
I guess it all comes down to balance, doesn't it? If I was to purely focus on the practical then my faith would not be sustained. If someone was to purely focus on the theological then their faith would not be complete. As my husband once told me, "When we get to Heaven, we'll all get a 7/10 for theology." We'll all have some bits right and some bits wrong but it all comes down to how we use that theology to build God's Kingdom.
Prayer: Lord, I'm a simple person. I will never fully understand you or this world you have created but I thank you for that and live in the knowledge that all things are in Your mighty hands. Amen.
This article was written by Linda Bailey
Linda started theological studies in 1999 in Australia. After working for ten years in various church ministries, she now works as the breakfast producer at 89.9 LightFM - the Christian radio station in Melbourne, Australia. She writes blogs every day about passages she is currently reading in the Bible. Follow her on Google Plus +Linda Bailey or Facebook by clicking the like button on the right of this page.