A subscriber recently wrote to me:
A friend of mine is on a fixed income and has maxed out his credit cards (nearing $10,000). He has started a new business, but currently has no customers or prospects.
He is affirming that he is already successful and debt-free. What is the best way for him? Should he write checks to pay his bills as they arrive, even though the money may not be in his account at the moment? Wouldn’t these concrete actions demonstrate his faith?
Faith is a wonderful thing – and very necessary. There are, however, approaches that may look like faith but lead us in risky directions.
Please tell your friend that he needs to pay close attention to “real” actions and concentrate on learning to provide a service to other people that they want. (Note the emphasis is on what “they” want.)
Paying bills with rubber checks isn’t an act of faith. It’s desperate gambling. I know from hard experience that it’s nearly impossible to get the right mindset for real faith or confidence when you’re circling the drain.
Your friend needs to get his feet firmly under himself with real money — even if he has to go tend bar or wash dishes for the extra income for a bit. Honest, it’s no disgrace (unless he stays there).
Remember that all faith needs feet. If you’re in an airplane on its way down in a power dive, you put on your parachute first. And THEN you do affirmations.
“All faith needs feet” is a phrase that means that faith is not enough on its own and needs to be accompanied by action or deeds. In other words, it’s not enough to simply believe in something, but one must also act upon that belief to make a meaningful difference in the world.
The old biblical phrase “faith without works is dead” means just that – belief needs to be connected organically with action. Productive action. If it’s not, then it’s not true belief, it’s only an attempt to con yourself and the gods.
Too many people hope that they can do affirmations or pray or ASSERT, and this will save them from having to make a decision and take action. But that’s not the way it works. Action and affirmations must be bonded together as a single unit and support each other like two legs. Neither faith nor action can stand alone.
So you might want to tell your friend that positive thinking is good (and absolutely necessary), but positive action is also an essential ingredient.
Simply put, he’ll never pray himself up a hill.
When he’s willing to take action, with all the stops out, his faith will bring the lucky breaks, the synchronicities, and the chance meetings with just the right people at the right times to help move him forward. But it’s the action that anchors all that potentiality into reality. ACTION.
Otherwise, it’s all vapor.
“Willing to take action with all the stops out” … some folks call that enthusiasm, others call it commitment. But it sure boosts the octane.
It’s often hard to get people to see that taking a detour on the way to their goals is not a “wrong turn.” It’s just another way of getting where they’re going. Whatever it takes.
Just remember that you don’t have to give up on your dreams and goals when some little thing comes along (or not so little). The goal is what’s important, not every little step it takes to get there (as long as we remember to TAKE the steps).
I’d guess that the old gremlin of impatience has killed more dreams than any other single influence. It’s so common to think, “If I’m not getting there RIGHT NOW, then that’s it; I’ll never make it.”
It might help to think of your vision of your future as a very penetrating stare. It penetrates anything that may seem to block your path. As long as you keep seeing what’s in your future, you won’t become stalled by the stuff that crops up in front of you today.
This may all sound trite, but it’s true, every bit of it. And I learned it all the absolutely hardest way. I lived through it over and over and over and…
But eventually, even a super-dense guy like me can learn, proving that anybody on earth can do it.
WHY faith without action is incomplete and insufficient?
Faith without action is incomplete and insufficient because it lacks the power to create positive change in the world. While faith can provide motivation and inspiration to act, it is the action itself that brings about the desired outcome.
For example, if someone has faith in ending poverty, but does not take any action towards that goal, their faith alone will not bring about any tangible change. However, if they take action by volunteering, donating to charities, or advocating for policy change, they can make a real difference in the lives of those affected by poverty.
Furthermore, faith without action can lead to a sense of complacency or apathy, where one feels satisfied with simply believing in something without actually doing anything to bring about change. This can be especially harmful in situations where action is urgently needed, such as in the face of social injustice, environmental degradation, or humanitarian crises.
In essence, faith and action are two sides of the same coin, with each requiring the other to create meaningful change in the world. While faith can provide the motivation and inspiration to act, action is necessary to turn that faith into a reality and make a positive impact in the world.
Here are some quotes about faith and action:
- “Faith without works is dead.” – James 2:26
- “Believe in something larger than yourself… get involved in the big ideas of your time.” – Barbara Bush
- “Faith is taking the first step even when you don’t see the whole staircase.” – Martin Luther King Jr.
- “The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.” – Mahatma Gandhi
- “Faith is not just a feeling; it is a choice to trust God even when the road ahead is uncertain.” – Dave Willis
- “Faith is not belief without proof, but trust without reservation.” – D. Elton Trueblood
- “I have been impressed with the urgency of doing. Knowing is not enough; we must apply. Being willing is not enough; we must do.” – Leonardo da Vinci
- “Faith and works should travel side by side, step answering to step, like the legs of men walking.” – William Booth
- “What you do speaks so loudly that I cannot hear what you say.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson
- “Faith is the bird that feels the light when the dawn is still dark.” – Rabindranath Tagore