“Don’t fool yourself into thinking that you are a listener when you are anything but, letting the Word go in one ear and out the other. Act on what you hear! Those who hear and don’t act are like those who glance in the mirror, walk away, and two minutes later have no idea who they are, what they look like. But whoever catches a glimpse of the revealed counsel of God—the free life!—even out of the corner of his eye, and sticks with it, is no distracted scatterbrain but a man or woman of action. That person will find delight and affirmation in the action.” – James 1:22-25, (MSG)
An elderly lady who had been a member of the church for decades, stopped to shake hands with the pastor after the morning service. “That was a wonderful sermon pastor,” she exclaimed, “just wonderful.” “Everything you said applies to someone I know and I will pass it along to them when I see them.”
In the passage above, James is not talking about applying scripture to others. Nor does He want us underlining all the commands in the Bible to pass on to others. He is talking to each one of us. Simply hearing or reading the Bible only gets us so far. We can mark up our Bible but the question is whether the Bible marks us. If a person thinks he is spiritual just because he hears the Word of God, not because he does the Word, he is deceiving himself. The value of the Bible does not consist merely in knowing it, but in obeying it.
The Word of God commands us to take action, but many people seem to be waiting for some great spiritual experience to jumpstart them doing what the Bible tells them to do. The Bible tells us to take responsibility for ourselves. It tells us to not wait for a feeling.
Being a doer is taking the Word of God and allowing it to have an impact on our life, so it changes us. It changes the way we speak, think and live. It changes the way we treat our spouse. It changes the way we act in business. It changes everything about us. If we are to use the mirror of God’s Word profitably, then we must gaze into it carefully and with serious intent. No quick glances will do. We must examine our heart and life in the light of God’s Word.
- Why is it so hard to move from a hearer to a doer?
- What can we do to move further into the doers column this week?