“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 the 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).
Many of us are familiar with this passage. It’s the part in the bible that tells us to practice what we preach, that actions speak louder than words. But action also speaks louder than study and knowledge. We spend so much time in God’s word that sometimes we have very little time to practice God’s word. This was brought home to me the other day by a friend who suggested that, while our weekly bible study was very beneficial, maybe we should not sit around all the time discussing the word, but instead go out and do it. When the exhaustive study of God’s word doesn’t transform us into the image of Christ Jesus, we have missed the point. By all accounts, Jesus was well versed in Old Testament writings. But he didn’t spend his ministry sitting around in the temple pouring over it for the sake of being more spiritual. He went out to seek and save the lost. Today, we attend church with other believers and say we’ve been a good Christian, but what about being doers of the word?
The careful study of God’s word, while very important, has a goal. It’s goal is not simply to carefully study God’s word. The objective is to discover Jesus, who he really is, and allow him to change our path. A genuine study of his word results in Christians who take care of the poor, who mentor others in their walk with God, and who seek the lost, telling them the good news and gospel of Jesus Christ.
Let us strive to be doers of the word so that one day we can be rewarded with the greatest compliment a Christian could receive… the title “Good and Faithful Servant.”