The book of James is known for its teaching on the relationship between faith and works. In fact, the second half of chapter 2 deals extensively with this issue. In chapter 2 of his letter, James mentions no less than three times that "faith without works is dead." (James 2:17,20,26) Because of this repetition, we know that this was a point that James was trying to stress to those who received his letter. There is a definite relationship between our faith and our works.
What does the relationship between faith and works look like? Perhaps a good question to ask first is this: "What doesn't this relationship look like?" We know that it does us no good to wish the best for our Christian brethren who are "down on their luck", as the saying goes, if we do not follow through with some kind of action to help them. (James 2:15-17). We also know that this relationship shows no favoritism (James 2:8-9). We also know that it does us no good to believe that God exists without seeking to obey Him (James 2:19). If we believe in God and do not obey Him, we are just as much rebels as the person who does not believe in Him. At this point, we become liars.
So what does this relationship look like? James says that we "do good" if we love our neighbors as we love ourselves (James 2:8). Love is a verb. What does love look like? When we refuse to show favoritism, then we have shown love to the person who would otherwise not have been favored. When we provide food for our starving brothers and sisters, we have shown love to them (James 2:15-16). Basically, our faith should be the driving force behind our actions, and our actions should back up our faith. We should live a life full of love, first for God, then for our neighbors. Proper doctrine does us no good if we do not live it.