For as the body apart from the spirit is dead, so also faith apart from works is dead.
If we have faith, i.e. if God has produced in us the ability to believe in Him, then that faith should be clearly seen through the actions we perform. It is really that simple. Believe for the sake of believe amounts to a body without spirit. And, please, note that James do not have in mind outrageous acts as the evidence of that God-given faith. He actually has two simple types of actions: those that show we believe what God says in Scripture (which always reflects His character), and those performed to show love and care for others. Love God, and love people. That is the product of faith. Maybe, in this time and age, that is extremely outrageous.