The Perfect Blend

September 27, 2016

Every coffee drinker prepares the perfect cup of coffee in a unique way. I like bold coffee sweetened with liquid Stevia. My husband likes a little light-bodied coffee with his creamer. My mom likes straight-up black coffee.

The perfectly blended cup of coffee depends on the individual. A person’s cup of coffee provides a visible example of his tastes, and maybe even his personality.

Unique Personality Blend

Every person has a unique blend of personality traits, just like every cup of coffee has its own individual flavor… if it’s good coffee, that is. Some people are more task-oriented, while others focus more on social events. Some people gain energy from being around other people, and some need alone time to charge their batteries.

God created each person as a unique part of His body, each designed for a specific plan and purpose.

“It’s in Christ that we find out who we are and what we are living for. Long before we first heard of Christ and got our hopes up, he had his eye on us, had designs on us for glorious living, part of the overall purpose he is working out in everything and everyone.” (Ephesians 1:11-12, MSG)

The Perfect Blend of Faith and Works

One way this reality of “glorious living” bears true comes through the perfect blend of faith and works in our lives.

“Now some may argue ‘Some people have faith; Others have good deeds.’ I say, ‘I can’t see your faith if you don’t have good deeds, but I will show you my faith through my good deeds.’” (James 2:18)

At first glance, James seems to contradict Paul in Romans 3:28.

“Man is justified by faith apart from works of the law.”

Deeper investigation into both James’ and Paul’s writings helps us realize that the two actually complement each other. Together they tell us that while works don’t bring salvation, they sure do give evidence of a life changed by God through His saving grace.

In other words, before salvation works mean nothing. After salvation, they mean a everything.

True faith involves total commitment to God. Works do not substitute for our faith, but they do verify and bear witness to its existence. So, Paul’s and James’ teachings really work together to describe the perfect blend of faith and works in a life devoted to Christ.

Whatever their unique personality blend, every believer also must blend the reality of his faith with his actions to create a living faith that is a testimony to others. We may all live out our faith a bit differently, just like every coffee lover expresses his unique tastes, based on our unique personalities and interests, but genuine faith will be lived out in some way in every believer.

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12 Responses to “The Perfect Blend”

  1. I think the relationship of the law to gospel and of grace to works is something that we all struggle with. Getting those crucial relationships wrong is the beginning of so many wrong doctrines, wrong thoughts, and wrong actions.

    • Kari Scare Says:

      You are so right, Loren. I struggled with even writing this post because, I think, of the struggle I have myself with getting that relationship right in my own life. You are right on too with saying that getting this wrong is the root of so many wrong doctrines, thoughts and actions in our lives. I think we all need to do a spiritual root cause analysis to at least deliberately be trying to get that relationship more balanced in our own lives, and a big part of that is letting the Holy Spirit do a work in us.

  2. @Vaderalman Says:

    While I know works are only evidence and evidence in not necessarily fact I hope my actions are a emanation of my faith.

    I hope that what I do is not a result of me wanting praise, me wanting to appear godly, me wanting someone to hold me in high esteem, me wanting to manipulate someone or me wanting God to respond in kind.

    I have to acknowledge that I do know at times my actions are a result of me wanting something in return instead of being an overflow of who I am in Christ. May I do more of the latter and less of the first.

    • Kari Scare Says:

      We are human, and sometimes what we do will be out of want for praise and for appearing godly or esteem-able or for us getting a desired end. But God knows our hearts. We get forgiven when we know we've done this, and move on as people of grace. We continue working toward having a pure heart that pleases Him, knowing that His Spirit is working is us for the same end.

  3. tnealtarver Says:

    Okay, any coffee reference gets my attention (and I'm with you–bold is beautiful). Just want to note that your first quote comes from Ephesians 1:11-12. I wondered if the Message changed Jeremiah 29:11 that much. 🙂

    It's a good quote (actually both of them are).

    • Kari Scare Says:

      Some of my friends don't like Starbucks because it's too bold, but that's why it's my favorite! Caribou is my other favorite! Silly me! I had the Jeremiah reference with the paragraph above and got mixed up when I switched some things, I guess. Thanks for catching it AND especially for saying something!

  4. I really like the way you put that, that after salvation works mean a great deal. I wish we could all get together and agree on that! 🙂 Right now I'm living out my faith by trust God with a trial I'm going through, by constantly repenting, and constantly praying. I love what Bill Bright wrote and I keep reflecting on it: We don't have to have great faith, but faith in a great God.

    • Kari Scare Says:

      Love to hear that you are living out your faith by getting to the cross! How much pain and strife would we avoid if we did that more? More of Jesus is always the answer for sure.

  5. cycleguy Says:

    Understanding grace has totally changed my life. And for the record: I don't drink coffee. E-V-E-R!! But I still liked this post. 🙂
    My recent post GraceEffect

  6. Dan Black Says:

    Great post Kari,

    I make it a point to learn the personalities of the people around me. How they work and best function. It's a beautiful thing when everyone uses their personalities to live out their faith. Thank you for a wonderful post.
    My recent post How to Use Mind Mapping to Find or Clarify your Strengths

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