By Megan Evans, Crosswalk.com
James 1:22 ESV: "But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves."
I love a yummy all-you-can-eat buffet. How about you? There is something about all of the many choices and flavors to try that makes my mouth water. However, buffet dinners can often leave us more than satisfied. If you are like me, it’s easy to end up overstuffed! Sometimes, we approach God’s Word with the same grazing attitude, yet God desires more for His children than just feasting.
He calls us to live changed. The purpose of food is more than just our dining experience. Meals satisfy our hunger, but their nutrients also have important roles to carry out in our bodies. Scripture is nourishing too, but we deceive ourselves if we only consume content without living out application.
James explains that we are to be doers of the word, not just hearers. The Greek word for hearers used here speaks of someone auditing a class rather than taking it for course credit. While studying the Bible is enjoyable and interesting, we can’t stop there. As we listen, read, and learn about the Bible, we are wise to put it to use.
The Bible is so much more than printed words. God wants His Word to take root in us, moving from our heads to our hearts and hands as we choose to love and live His way. If all we are doing is hearing, we miss out on the best part!
God invites us into His great work, and we will soon see His power. Imagine being able to forgive the unforgivable or to love the unlovable. Watch Christ-like humility replace the prideful and the selfish learn to give. Wonder at the life saved and redeemed from destruction. Marvel as strongholds and chains of addiction break loose. Notice joy and peace prevail when circumstances beg for worry and fear. Over and over again, we see our Almighty God at work in the hearts of doers.
Being a doer is really about being a follower of Jesus, and we aren’t left alone struggling to figure out what next steps to take. John 14:26 reminds us that we have a Helper as it says, “…the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you.” We have His strength, power, and lead. Oh, that we would listen to His guidance!
It is fruitful to digest what we are hearing. It is essential to pause, ponder, and pray the Word of God. Let’s welcome the Holy Spirit to work in our hearts and prompt new attitudes and actions. As Hebrews 4:12 says, “For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.”
I want James 1:22 to remain in my heart. I want to be a doer. How about you? Consider daily reflection as we ask ourselves: “Am I doing what God says, or am I merely hearing the words?” With God’s help, we can begin living mindful and obedient to what He says. For example, we can:
Choose to trust God’s character and promises.
Choose to live His way over our way.
Choose to meet a need in the world around us.
Choose to demonstrate Christ’s love even when it’s hard.
Choose to pause and pray amidst our busy day.
Choose to encourage and make time for others.
When scripture moves from head to heart, we become a living testimony to the world around us. When we surrender to His molding and shaping, we can’t help but change from the inside out.
Father God, help me be a doer and not just a hearer. Write your Word upon my heart, and change me from the inside out as you do. Slow me down to listen to your still, small voice as you convict, teach, and lead me to be more like your Son, Jesus Christ. Direct my attitudes and actions, and use me to love and serve others today. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Photo Credit: ©SWN
Megan Evans is a military wife, and a mother to three wonderful teenagers. She and her family live in Tennessee where she serves as the women’s ministry director at her church. An author and blogger with a heart for discipleship; she writes, speaks, and teaches women about enjoying God in each busy day. Check out her new book, “Permission to Walk: A 40-Day Journey to Unhurried Peace” and learn the daily pace of life that Jesus taught as we daily navigate this distracted and fast-paced world. You can connect with Megan at www.unhurrymyheart.com, www.instagram.com/megan.m_
Looking for authentic conversations about how to deal with body image, insecurity, and comparison issues as a Christian woman? The Compared to Who? Podcast is the show for you! Twice a week, we tackle tough topics like dieting, disordered eating, weight loss, aging, body dysmorphia, and more from a practical, grace-filled, gospel-centered perspective.