What if I never sat in the chair after that? You might become suspicious of my earlier stated conviction about the chair. You might ask me, and rightfully so, if I actually believe that the chair would hold me. I had essentially professed a belief in in the consequence of an action of mine, an if-then statement: if I sit down in the chair, then it will hold me off the ground. My verbal statement of belief, which isn't physical, is directly connected to tangible reality: my actions.
What good is it, my brothers, if a man claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save him? [...]
In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead. But someone will say, "You have faith; I have deeds." Show me your faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by what I do.
You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that—and shudder.
If we are not willing to wake up in the morning and die to ourselves, perhaps we should ask ourselves whether or not we are really following Jesus.
-Quoted from Blue Like Jazz by Donald Miller
I claim to believe in chairs, gravity, and the sturdiness of wood. Therefore, I sit in chairs.
I claim to believe in Jesus as the Son of God, as completely God and completely man, as the savior of broken people, as my personal, all-powerful savior. I don't always sit in that chair, so to speak. By God's grace I've learned the importance of loving Him; but I can't claim that every little action I take is motivated by the desire to love God and love other people with His love. I want it to be that way though; yes, it's an "ideal," but half the time someone tries to comfort me with that it's because they don't see the purpose in trying.
When I do fall short, I must not wallow in shame and guilt; there is "no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus," because He has set us free from the law (Romans 8:1-2). However, I shouldn't abuse grace and use that as an excuse to become lazy and idle in my pursuit of Him (Romans 6:15-18); that would be manipulative of God, and trust me, He'd know.
When I claim to be a God follower, a Jesus freak, it follows that I am saying I want to live like Jesus. I say I believe this with no reservations, and I don't want to shy away from it because I believe that the brokenness of the world, God, Jesus, and His desire for people to come to Him and His love are objective truths. It's easy enough to write bold things like that as I sit here in an empty house, but my desire is to live that out with my daily life, with each of my actions, so that God's love might be shown. I'm not perfect, but God knows that. He knew that before I did, and planned well in advance for that... in fact, it's an integral part of His plan. So is your imperfection. Since He's the one I'm relying on, I don't have to worry about Him not coming through for me.
I trust in the chair beneath me, but only for temporary resistance to gravity. I trust in the God above me, for salvation and provision in this live. The chair's made of wood; while sturdy, I don't think it could handle all my shortcomings if they physicalized themselves suddenly. But I'm still trusting the chair enough to sit in it. God's a lot more than wood, and I'm learning to trust him with a lot more than just keeping my butt off of the ground.