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 a man who looks at his face in a mirror and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like. But the man who looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues to do this, not forgetting what he has heard, but doing it. he will be blessed in what he does. James 1: 22-25
When I was learning to play an instrument, I couldn't just go to class and listen to the teacher. I had to pick up my saxophone if I wanted to be able to make music with the band. When I took Driver’s Ed we learned the material and practiced on the simulator (fortunately), but I had to get behind the wheel of the car in order to drive somewhere. When I was in college learning to be a nurse my instructors taught us in the classroom, practiced with us in the Lab, and then we needed to go to the hospital to practice our skills with real patients if we were to help care for people. In all these things, it was never enough to just read about something. In all three instances I had to get out and do it in order to make it effective.
James tells us that our faith is like this too. We can certainly call ourselves Christians when we confess Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior but in order to truly live the Christian life, in order to get the good out of our “lessons” we’re going to need to take the show on the road.
Prayer: Jesus, sometimes the things you taught us are just so much easier to read about than to do. But you showed us with your life that the work isn’t done with what’s in our head - it’s done with our hands and our mouths and our bodies. We can’t just hear about the Good News. We need to act on it and share it in order for the world to know that you are God and for us to receive the blessing that comes from working for you. Amen
Reprinted with permission from “Faithfully Devoted to God”, a devotional written by Lori Snyder-Sloan and family.