For my whole life, I have been immersed in Christian communities. I grew up knowing mostly believers. Then I went off to college and found another spot full of people that love God and shared God’s word with me constantly. It has been wonderful and needed and I have grown because of it, but a wave of conviction comes over me when I ask myself if I am only listening to the word? Am I a doer of the word as well?
I have listened during all the bible studies and took notes within all the groups, with comparatively little action afterwards.
“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
What is the point without any doing? If we don’t go and do, it is all worthless. It is the same as being constantly fed without ever exercising. Of course, we should be fed and built up, but then we need to put that strength to good use. If I eat and eat, but never move, I atrophy.
“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.” James 1:25
The one that acts will be blessed.
True religion is not only attending a church service, bible study after bible study, and gathering around believers and talking. True religion involves action. It involves action to move away from the filth and selfishness of the world in which we live. It involves acting on the love we read about in His word.
“Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.” James 1:26
Let us not give into the worldly temptations that tell us “we deserve to do whatever we want” or “I don’t need to change.”
Let us shake off the pollution of this world and do what His word tells us. Let us care for the orphans and widows. Let our lives reflect the gospel. Let us not be listeners of the word and never doers.