Both Oars

Richard Roberts

A man was invited to go fishing one day by a friend of his. When he got to the lake, he and his friend got into a little fishing boat that had two oars and his friend began to row toward his favorite fishing spot. As they moved through the water, the man noticed that the oars of the boat had something carved into them.

He looked a little closer and saw the word “faith” carved into one handle, and the word “works” carved into the other. He found this a little amusing, and said to the man, “Why do you have ‘faith’ carved in one oar and ‘works’ carved in the other?”

His friend said, “I’ll show you.” He put down the oar that said “works” and began to row only with the one that said “faith.” The little boat began to go in circles. Then he put down the oar and took up the one that said “works” and began to row with it. The little boat went the opposite way. Then he picked them both up and when he rowed with both oars, the little boat went forward. “You see,” he said, “faith without works doesn’t go anywhere. Neither do works without faith.”

James is the one who wrote in the New Testament that “faith without works is dead.” (See James 2:17.) He went on to say, “Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works.” James was saying, “How do you know you have faith if it isn’t coupled with works? Where is the proof that you have faith if you aren’t doing anything with it?

Faith is meant to go with works. It’s meant to product something in your life ― to result in action, to result in the planting of seeds into the work of God and into the lives of people around you.

Activate your faith with your works today and see what God begins to do in your behalf.