Be doers of the word and not hearers only, deluding yourselves. James 1:22 NABRE
James in his letter to the community is speaking to them about how to change their heart and become a more faithful Christian with deeper roots. He shares many counsels and exhortations about conduct and wants to convince the reader, who he addresses as the “twelve tribes of Israel” to become a more convinced, more faithful follower of Jesus. James opens the letter speaking about new birth and the salvation of the soul and urges the reader to conduct themselves appropriately. In this section with the quoted verse he begins to speak to those who think they are listening to the word but are only deceiving themselves. This may be a more common problem than we might initially think. James calls the reader to be a doer of the word. In another verse James says “So also faith of itself, if it does not have works, is dead.” (James 2:17) Demonstration of faith is the only means to show belief. If there is no action from you beyond accepting Jesus and believing than what has belief done for your life? James goes on to say if you hear the word and don’t do, it is like looking at yourself in a mirror and forgetting what you look like. In other words, it is a person who sees who they are, they know their imperfections, weaknesses and strengths and then goes off and acts as if those imperfections or strengths don’t exist. James challenges the person who hears the word but does not allow it to flourish and grow within them.
Do you attend Sunday service but anger other drivers, or spend hours looking at porn? Do you pray constantly but talk about others behind their backs? Are you a church leader but have trouble telling the truth? First be a person who is honest, caring, patient and loving; then pray.
Do you live the faith you pray? Do you put prayer into doing?James challenges the person who hears the word but does not allow it to flourish and grow within them. First be a person who is honest, caring, patient and loving; then pray. Click To Tweet
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