Examine yourselves to see if your faith is genuine. –2 Corinthians 13:5a. This month’s text brings out an important truth. It is possible to think we have genuine faith when we do not. Just like there are genuine dollar bills and counterfeit dollar bills so there is genuine faith and counterfeit faith. Counterfeit faith is something God’s people have always struggled with and is far more common that most Christians today probably realize. So how do we know that we have genuine faith? Genuine faith always results in corresponding action. When we have real biblical faith we will act like what we say we believe is true. Many Christians think they have a behavior problem when they really have a believing problem. They may say “I believe Jesus words that it is better to give than receive, I just have a hard time behaving that way.” The reality is that they really do not believe that it is better to give than receive. If they did they would be behaving that way. Take following Jesus for instance. Jesus makes it clear in Matthew 16:24 that a genuine follower will have a plan in place to put to death what is not like Christ in them. They will be far from perfect, but they will have plan and they will be making progress. If this is not present in their lives they really do not believe that Jesus lived a life worth following. This is nothing to fret about because their belief can be changed.
We develop real faith through reflection and action. We take time to reflect on Jesus words until the light-bulb goes off in our minds and we think “yes that is true to life as I know it, that is how the world works, these words are the truth.” Real faith is developed through action. Reality is what we bump into when we take action. Jesus promised when we act on His words we will know reality. It is through this process of reflection and action that our faith is developed.