All Hat & No Cattle

I grew up in Texas, and there’s a phrase that’s used when someone’s full of talk and no action. We say they’re “all hat and no cattle”—as in, “That guy’s all hat and no cattle. Don’t pay any attention to him.”

Country singer Trace Adkins actually has a song called “All Hat, No Cattle.” One of the verses goes like this:

See that boy standing there by the dance floor,

He’s lookin’ like the Marlboro Man.

Starched shirt, starched jeans,

Big trophy buckle and an empty Copenhagen can.

He’s talkin’ cowboy this and cowboy that.

Well I’ll bet one thing’s for sure

The only stampede that he’s ever seen

Is the clearance at the western store.

This is what James is talking about in James 2:14-26. Are we all hat and no cattle? Do we “Talk or Act?” Do we just talk about our faith or do we actually act upon our faith? In our Practical Atheist series, we’ve defined practical atheism like this: “I believe in God but live as though He doesn’t exist.”

Faith without works is dead. Real faith doesn’t just talk—it acts!


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