Indicators for a Person's Heart

Derivative as a Rate of Change

James 2:12-18 NIV

Speak and act as those who are going to be judged by the law that gives freedom, because judgment without mercy will be shown to anyone who has not been merciful. Mercy triumphs over judgment.

What good is it, my brothers and sisters, if someone claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save them? Suppose a brother or a sister is without clothes and daily food. If one of you says to them, "Go in peace; keep warm and well fed," but does nothing about their physical needs, what good is it?  In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead. 

But someone will say, "You have faith; I have deeds." Show me your faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by my deeds.

Which comes first--the function or the derivative?  If you are given a function in a graphical, symbolical, or numerical representation, you can find all the information you need about the derivative of that function--at least in the same representation. 

On the other hand, if you are given a derivative of a function, you can once again find out information about the original function.  Is the original function increasing or decreasing? Is it concave up or down? But you will not know everything--you cannot know the exact location of the function vertically. That information is lost when the derivative is calculated.

Now compare a person's heart to their actions.  If you know a person's heart, you should be able to predict actions completely, assuming consistency that is.  But, suppose you only know a person's actions?  Will you know that person's heart completely? 

Of course, only God can see the true nature of the person's heart. Human observers can only observe the behavior and then predict the nature of the heart. What conclusions will observers make when they see actions that do not model Christ?  Their conclusions will inevitably be that the heart is not faithful to God.  James says that "faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead."  So we must model Christ faithfully in our actions. This is the natural outcome of faith!