I woke up this morning to get my random inspiration from the Bible. And as I opened it, my eyes fell upon these words from Romans 2: 5 – 15 [emphasis mine]
” … But according to your hardness and unrepentant heart you are treasuring up for yourself wrath in the day of wrath, revelation, and of the righteous judgment of God;
who will pay back to everyone according to their works:
to those who by patience in well-doing seek for glory and honor and incorruptibility, eternal life;
but to those who are self-seeking, and don’t obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, will be wrath and indignation,
oppression and anguish, on every soul of man who works evil, on the Jew first, and also on the Greek.
But glory and honor and peace to every man who works good, to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.
For it isn’t the hearers of the law who are righteous before God, but the doers of the law will be justified
(for when Gentiles who don’t have the law do by nature the things of the law, these, not having the law, are a law to themselves,
in that they show the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience testifying with them, and their thoughts among themselves accusing or else excusing them)
While the path to excellence and perfection [any way you choose to define it] begins with and is shaped by thoughts, wisdom and belief/knowing, the manifestation of excellence and perfection ultimately lies in the things we DO … ie our behaviour. So many of us Christians seem to want to emphasize faith to the detriment of works but I think this passage tells us that is not the case. I haven’t found the passage in the Bible that says God will pay us back according to our faith. Yes … faith [and knowledge and theory etc] is important, in fact indispensable but the evidence of our faith lies in the works that we do [by their fruits they shall be known].
May God grant us the strength to continually put our faith/knowledge/principles into action in ways that elevate our spirit and conscience over our egos and selves.