James 1:22-24 (NIV)
Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like someone who looks at his face in a mirror and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like.
James 1:22-24 (MSG)
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 prove yourselves doers of the word [actively and continually obeying God’s precepts], and not merely listeners [who hear the word but fail to internalize its meaning], deluding yourselves [by unsound reasoning contrary to the truth]. For if anyone only listens to the word without obeying it, he is like a man who looks very carefully at his natural face in a mirror; for once he has looked at himself and gone away, he immediately forgets what he looked like.” -AMPLIFIED
James has just spent the beginning of this chapter speaking of facing various types of trials and points of testing of our faith. He has encourage us that if we are lacking in wisdom to ask God; who gives wisdom generously to those who ask. James then implored us to put aside our pride and reminds us that every good and perfect gift comes from above; from God, who does not change like shifting shadows. (Something that most people tend to have a problem with.)
James then reminds us to be quick to listen, slow to speak and even slower to anger. (Very wise counsel indeed.) In fact, he begs us to get rid of every kind of moral filth and evil; saying to us, “Therefore, get rid of all moral filth and the evil that is so prevalent and humbly accept the word planted in you, which can save you.”
Accept the Word planted in you! Do not just merely listen to it and then carry on with life as usual; letting it go in one ear and out the other. Listen to it and make it part of you. Even the Apostle Paul reminded the Romans of this truth, “For it is not those who hear the law who are righteous in God’s sight, but it is those who obey the law who will be declared righteous.” -Romans 2:13 (NIV)
Be a “doer”! Doers accomplish things. Doers get their instructions from the Father and then go out; to change the World. Doers don’t just talk the talk; they walk the walk. Martin Luther once said “The world does not need a definition of religion as much as it needs a demonstration.” Live your life and love for Christ out loud!
Do not be like that person who walks by a mirror and two minutes later forgets what they look like. If we are hearers only that is exactly what we are like. James tells us in verse 25, “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.” (MSG)
“We need an outbreak of holy heartburn, when hearers shall be doers, when congregations shall go out from meetings to do things for God.” -Dr. Vance Havner
Be careful that you do not fool yourself into thinking that going through the motions of a relationship with God will be enough. He knows our very hearts and thoughts; there will be no fooling Him. He is looking for a people who will live their lives as living sacrifice for Him; those who will let their light shine. He desires that we live our lives “out loud” for Him; every moment of every day. Will you do it for Him?
Lord God, I know you know everything about me; even my deepest thoughts and the desires of my heart. You have visited the secret places that I have hidden from others and you know everything about me. My greatest desire, Lord, is to be pleasing to you. Help me to live my life in such a way that you are glorified through me. Let me not be just a listener, but a doer. I want my life to shine the love of Jesus to others. Help me to live out loud for you. Have your way in my life; today and every day.