What do the George Foreman Grill, Dyson vacuum, and Chevy Volt have in common? Well, other than having power cords and being made of plastic, they are also specifically designed to show you how good a job they're doing while they're doing it.
The Foreman collects grease and fat from your burgers in an oval-shaped tray. The Dyson gathers dirt and debris from your carpet in a see-thru container. The Volt displays your gas mileage and energy savings on the dashboard display.
Other grills get rid of the same amount of grease, but it runs between the grates. Other vacuums pick up the same amount of dirt, but it's hidden in bags or behind the case. Other cars get good gas mileage, but it isn't calculated right in front of your eyes.
As you make dinner, clean up the house, or drive to work, these products are telling their story the entire time. Foreman and Dyson and Chevrolet have figured out just how important it is to show externally all of the amazing things that are happening internally. People tend to wholeheartedly buy-in to products that constantly remind them just how transformative they really are.
Of course the Bible has figured out this concept, too. James 2:26 says, "Faith without works is dead." I had always taken this verse to mean that my faith isn't real if there is no action behind it. And that's true. If my beliefs don't change me much, then my beliefs aren't worth a whole lot. But I think there is another, more long-lasting, application of this passage as well: future faith is dead without works today.
Our children and grandchildren and great-grandchildren will choose to either follow Christ or deny him. And much of that decision is based upon the faith that they see lived out in mom and dad or grandma and grandpa. If following Jesus is perceived to be merely an intellectual exercise--with little to no physical change--then the faith of our future truly will be dead. If James 2:26 were written for a high school health class, it might say, "Humanity without reproduction is dead."
As with grills and vacuums and cars, it's critical that the inner-workings of our faith be exhibited on the outside as well. It will be much harder for the world to deny that Jesus is real--to dismiss the idea that faith works--if they see Jesus on you rather than just hear that he's in you.