Don’t just read it, do it: 1
‘Be doers of the word… not merely hearers.’ James 1:22 NRS
A businessman known for his ruthlessness, arrogance, and superior religious attitude told Mark Twain that, before he died, he intended to visit the Holy Land, climb Mount Sinai, and read the Ten Commandments aloud.
‘I have a better idea,’ Twain replied. ‘Just stay here and keep them!’
It can be easy to get caught up in gaining Christian knowledge. We read the Bible, read lots of Christian books advising us on all areas of our lives, study theology, listen to sermons… and that’s all great. But it’s only great if we’re putting that knowledge into action in our lives. We need to practise loving a difficult person; try forgiving someone; give some of our money away; stop and say thanks; worship God; encourage a friend; bless an enemy; apologise when it’s needed. There are loads of things we know we should be doing, but aren’t actually putting into practice in our lives. But James wrote: ‘Be doers of the word, and not merely hearers.’
And Paul wrote this: ‘Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.’ (Philippians 4:9 NIV) Learning about God is important because then we know how our character should be too. So we can make changes in our lives to ensure our character is more Christlike. We’ll probably feel uncomfortable for a while and it’ll take some effort. But the Bible says: ‘Whoever claims to live in Him must live as Jesus did.’ (1 John 2:6 NIV) We should be trying to be becoming more like Jesus, and live more like He did. And that involves putting what we know into practice.
SoulFood: 2 Pet 1–3, Lk 8:40–56, Ps 146, Prov 18:23–24
word4today an adaptation of The Word For Today is authored by Bob and Debby Gass and published under licence from UCB International Copyright © 2018