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. But whoever looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom and continues in it – not forgetting what they have heard but doing it – they will be blessed in what they do.
James 1:22-25 (NIV)
Have you ever come out of church and someone asked you what you learned from the sermon? Not only have you not learned anything, but you don’t even remember the main points that were made. Or have you spent time reading your Bible privately, only to forget what you read? I think we can all relate to this.
In James 1 quoted above, James tells his readers that a person who listens to God’s Word and forgets to put it into practice, is like a man who sees himself in the mirror, but when he walks away immediately forgets what he looks like. It is said that ‘the camera doesn’t lie’; well neither does a mirror. Looking into a mirror can be an unpleasant experience, as it shows us ‘warts and all’.
God’s Word also shows us what we are really like. It reveals our weaknesses, but also points out areas where God wants to work in our life and character. If we look into God’s Word and he speaks to us, we have a decision to make as to whether or not we will put into practice what he is saying to us.
Before reading God’s Word or listening to a sermon, don’t just pray that God will reveal ‘wonderful things’ to you, pray that you will have the courage to put what you learn into practice.
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