It’s not an onomatopoeia, but it comes close for me. Musty is a word that almost sounds as bad as it is by definition. You most likely know this adjective describes something that is stale, moldy, damp, and smelly. Memories of high school locker rooms just flooded my mind.
Did you know that musty can also describe something that lacks vitality and inspiration? That’s one way to describe a life that boasts about faith but the works to prove it are missing in action.
Anyone can talk about faith. But a life that is filled with Christ-like works is anything but musty. It’s filled with inspiration and vitality.
I’m reminded that Jesus says, “I must work the works of Him who sent Me while it is day; the night is coming when no one can work” (John 9:4).
Faith works. James was inspired when he wrote “as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also” (2:26). But precisely what works should fill the vital lives of the faithful?
That answer to that depends on your particular passions, natural abilities, and spiritual gifts. But here are three must-have characteristics that will make your works possible.
1. You must be friendly. Friendliness is a must-have for professing Christians. Unfriendliness will defeat your witness and disappoint others.
It’s no coincidence that the Gospel writers painted beautiful portraits with words, describing the Savior as a friend of sinners, children, and every marginalized group. Those who follow Jesus will put the love of God on display and compassion for others will naturally follow.
Jesus is the friend that sticks closer than a brother (Proverbs 18:24), and likewise, His followers must be friendly. Friendliness will lead you to many open doors for good works.
2. You must be forgiving. Forgiveness is a must-have to become a Christian. That short sentence makes me feel like a sanctified version of Captain Obvious.
Unforgiveness will nullify your good works. See Matthew 6:15. Nonetheless, way too many professing Christians have a mental disconnect between being forgiven and offering that same forgiveness to others. You know some that carry resentment and hold grudges even though Scripture teaches the opposite.
Christian, you must forgive others. Sometimes, it’s not that you can’t, you just won’t. Sometimes it’s difficult, and the struggles are real. So I’m not kidding when I tell you that if you need additional biblical advice and prayer, I’d be glad to help.
3. You must be fruitful. Fruitfulness is a must-have for God’s chosen. Jesus was Upper Room emphatic when He said that He chose you to go and bring forth fruit (John 15:16). This fruitfulness is the “greater works” of His body.
There’s no need to act nutty with unbridled enthusiasm over this fruit. It’s a consistent life of spiritual fruit that the Lord of the Harvest wants to cultivate in you. Such fruit is easily described as love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, and self-control (see Galatians 5:22-24).
Practicing these must-haves will create an environment where your good works are in ample supply. Without them, your Christian life will become quite musty (unoriginal, smelly, and lifeless).
If musty is at the far left of a horizontal line and must-haves are located on the far right, which end of the line is your life closest?