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!
“But prove yourselves doers of the word, and not merely hearers who delude themselves.” ~ James 1:22
Being merely a hearer and not a doer of the word is like ordering the P90X Ultimate Workout Kit. You get the 12 workout DVDs, the chin-up bar, the resistance bands, and you even whip up some of the P90X Results & Recovery Post-workout drink. You get in your new workout clothes. You put in the DVD, plop down on the couch, watch the workout and then say, “That’s my workout!” Does that work? No, you actually have to work out.
Being doers of the word means actually living out what you say you believe. Being doers of the word means living like the gospel is actually true. Being doers of the word is putting faith into action.
Are you a doer or a poser?
Why do we say we’re Christians and so often shelve God and our faith? Why do we live like God isn’t in the room or assume that He’s not paying attention? Why are our beliefs & actions often so disconnected? There is often this noticeable gap between what we “believe” and what we do. We live like practical atheists. Sure, we say we believe these things about God, but we end up not “doing” all the things we say we believe about God. As the biblical author James said, “Faith without works is dead.” Join us this June and July as we explore the book of James. We’ll be challenged by some hard truth that will help us close the gap between what we say we believe and how we live.
Here’s the series schedule:
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