“Put your money where your mouth is.” We’ve all heard, or said, the phrase at one time or another. It’s usually employed at a time when someone makes a claim to something, and then someone issues the challenge. Put your money where your mouth is. Put up or shut up. Or some other variation of the sort. If the person making the claim can’t back it up with action proving the claim, they’re outed as a hypocrite. A liar. A fraud. Right?
But there are also times when the challenge is made, the challenge is accepted, and the claim is proven to be true. The action backs up the words. Ever had that happen to you? It’s a great feeling knowing that when we can back up our claims, nothing ill can be said of us in regards to the claims we make, isn’t it?
As Michael Jordan once quipped, “It ain’t braggin’ if you can do it.”
There’s a similar challenge to this located in scripture. It’s found in the book of James, chapter 2. James, the half-brother of Jesus, seems to be a no nonsense kind of guy. He doesn’t mince words when it comes to how he feels about certain things, and he certainly doesn’t mince them with these words:
“Dear brothers, what’s the use of saying that you have faith and are Christians if you aren’t proving it by helping others? Will that kind of faith save anyone? If you have a friend who is in need of food and clothing, and you say to him, “Well, good-bye and God bless you; stay warm and eat hearty,” and then don’t give him clothes or food, what good does that do?
So you see, it isn’t enough just to have faith. You must also do good to prove that you have it. Faith that doesn’t show itself by good works is no faith at all—it is dead and useless.
But someone may well argue, “You say the way to God is by faith alone, plus nothing; well, I say that good works are important too, for without good works you can’t prove whether you have faith or not; but anyone can see that I have faith by the way I act.”
Yep. James just went there. “You say you have faith…so put your money where your mouth is.” I love this…and yet I am challenged by it. But James is right-making claims to faith without backing it up with action is pretty useless. And if we’re honest, every one of us is guilty of this at one time or another.
On September 14, 1860, a man named Charles Blondin made history by walking an 11,000 foot tightrope across the breadth of Niagara Falls. A large crowd from both Canada and the United States gathered to see Blondin’s feat. But Blondin not only walked the tightrope. He did it several times-on stilts, in a sack, on a bicycle, and even blindfolded. The crowd ‘ooohed’ and ‘aaahhed’ as Blondin continually proved his prowess on the rope. Then, Blondin pushed a wheelbarrow full of potatoes across the chasm, and the crowd roared. Upon reaching the other side, Blondin asked the crowd, “Do you believe I can carry a person across in this wheelbarrow?” The crowd erupted, “Yes! You are the greatest tightrope walker in the world. We believe!”
Blondin issued the challenge. “Okay, who wants to get in the wheelbarrow?”
You could have heard a pin drop.
I have an old friend from high school. His name is Michael Richard. Michael, as of this writing, is in ICU with what is described as “catastrophic liver failure”. Michael has been in the hospital now for nearly two weeks, in intensive care. He has no medical insurance, and his bills are already breathtaking. He can’t work in his condition, obviously. Lori, his wife, works for a Methodist church, and she can’t possibly pay these exorbitant expenses alone. Michael needs a liver transplant in order to survive. They have set up a Go Fund Me account, at https://www.gofundme.com/michaeltransplant. I urge each person reading to prayerfully consider “putting your money where your mouth is” by doing two things: 1) contributing whatever you can to help (the site says 50 grand, but his costs are going to be at least in the 300 grand arena after all is said and done). Don’t look at the size of the need and think “that’s too big for me to do anything”. Pennies turn into dollars, folks. Any amount at all will be helpful, and appreciated. 2) Share this article on your social media sites, and get the word out. The more people who know, the more that can contribute. The more that can contribute, the less the burden of cost, and the more likely that we can reach the goal.
To my fellow believers, hear me: We make claims. I’m calling those claims to the table, and asking for action to back those claims up. I’m about to click the site and make a donation. Please, I’m asking you to do the same. As far as that goes, believer, non-believer, it doesn’t matter. This is a moment to “let your light shine before men”, to come to the aid of a good man in need.
So I urge you….put your money where your mouth is.