The Lord is known by his acts of justice; the wicked are ensnared by the work of their hands. Psalm 9:16
We’re known by “the work of our hands,” that is, what we do reveals our character. I’m sure we would rather, and often expect, to be known by our words. However, words flow easily, the true test of integrity is our actions.
Some Christians express concern over James’ words, “You see that a person is considered righteous by what they do and not by faith alone” (James 2:24). They wrongly assume they are required to do good works because their faith in God isn’t enough to save them. However, James’ words must be read in context.
James is concerned about people who are good at saying encouraging words but do nothing to help. It’s easy to say, “Go in peace; keep warm and well fed” (verse 16), but if we have the means to help them and do nothing, we’re being unkind.
Our actions are the outworking of our faith. We believe in a God of compassion and grace, therefore we respond to someone’s need with the same attitude as God. When we know God’s heart for people we won’t be condemning or dismiss them with empty words.
God is known by his acts of justice, we see this enacted through the life of Jesus and later through his disciples. Christians throughout history have helped orphans and widows, the sick and oppressed, the poor and lonely. They don’t do acts of justice to earn salvation, but rather because they know they are saved. It’s the natural outcome of someone whose life has been blessed by God, they want to bless others.
We will be known for the work of our hands, may our works match our words.