"But prove yourselves doers of the word, and not merely hearers who delude themselves." James 1:22-25
An openness to hearing and being receptive to the Scriptures is a demonstration of humility. Previously we learned the importance of being intentionally receptive to Scriptures. In James 1:22, we read that it is not only necessary to hear the Scriptures but we must be doers of the Word as well.
Hearing and doing are both words that require action. To hear, a person must attentively focus on what is spoken to gain a clear understanding. Similarly, doing is acting upon what was understood or instructed. Jesus gave us a comparative glimpse of a hearer and a doer and of one who is not. In Matthew 7:24-27, Jesus told a parable about two builders. Of the two, the wise man built his house on the rock, so that when the rain fell, the floods came, and the winds blew and battered the house, the house withstood the storm and did not fall because the foundation was firm, stable, solid and built upon the rock. Contrary to the wise man, the foolish man built his house on the sand, so that when the rain fell, the floods came, and the winds blew and battered his house; it fell. The Scripture adds, “and great was its fall.” In this passage, Jesus said, whoever hears and does what He says, is like the wise man that built his house on the rock.
When trials and temptations come, we need a sure foundation that is built upon a rock, so that we do not greatly fall. James went on to say that those who are only hearers delude themselves. According to the Scriptures, when we think that because we’ve read the Scriptures, merely listened to the Word, or heard a sermon that it is sufficient enough without taking the action that the Scripture instructs, we’ve deceived ourselves. We have come to a false assessment of the situation and a false conclusion of ourselves. James likened it to looking in a mirror and after turning away from the mirror, quickly forgetting what kind of person we were. Think again about the parable of the two builders. The foolish builder truly believed that a house built upon an unstable foundation such as the sand would withstand torrential rain, vehement floods, and boisterous winds. Jesus said that those who do not abide by His words are like the foolish builder. The foolish builder was deluded, ill-prepared, had a false assessment of himself, and a false resolve to weather the turbulent storm he faced. As a result, great was his fall.
As Disciples of Christ, we should always respond to the Words of Christ with obedience. When we take action as doers of the Word, we become more Christlike with every act of obedience. James compares these acts of obedience to abiding by the Scriptures and intently looking at the Word so that we do not become forgetful hearers but effectual doers. Subsequently, when we obey, we will be blessed in what we do (James 1:25). Begin to look closely at the Word of God with the intent to follow and obey Christ with the help of the Holy Spirit. The Scriptures reveal who we really are and give us a proper perspective of ourselves and most importantly a biblical perspective of who Christ is. This is of great benefit when we are the most vulnerable, which is when we are going through difficult trials and subtle temptations. The more we look intently at the mirror of the Word of God, we see our need for Christ and this will prevent us from deceiving ourselves by thinking that we can follow our own way without hearing and obeying the Scriptures. Choose today to avoid following the path of self-deception as the foolish builder did. Purpose in your heart today to be a doer of the Word and not merely a hearer.
"Charm is deceitful and beauty is vain,