Be doers of the word and not hearers only, deluding yourselves. For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks at his own face in a mirror. He sees himself, then goes off and promptly forgets what he looked like. But the one who peers into the perfect law of freedom and perseveres, and is not a hearer who forgets but a doer who acts, such a one shall be blessed in what he does. – James 1:22-25
How often do we skip past a passage of scripture and decide that it doesn’t apply to our personal situation? For example, say someone decided that being charitable was not for them… say they decided that all of Jesus’ teachings regarding taking care of your neighbor (regardless of who the “neighbor” was) didn’t apply to them. Is that the right way to live?… to hoard wealth and material things God has bestowed to us?
Or, say a person is drawn to some sexual immorality, only to turn their back on scriptural teachings on the matter because it’s too difficult to deal with…
I get it. It’s easier to live in this world and be one with the world. I have my multitude of daily sins that remind me. Yet, why do we continue, day after day, to choose to continue on in our dreadful ways?
Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect. – Romans 12:2
To live in our sins is like being a seed that has decided to surround itself with an impenetrable shell, refusing for water to touch it. Or, say the seed had legs and arms and kept digging its way out of the dirt. What good purpose does a seed have in being a seed? Being a seed is not the seed’s purpose! The seed will never ever transform into God’s will for it if it keeps running away from the plan. … like we, ourselves, run away from the plan.
One of my favorite examples of this, because it’s so easy for all of us to relate to, is this one:
Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? Which of you by worrying can add one cubit to his stature? “So why do you worry about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin; and yet I say to you that even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. Now if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will Henot much more clothe you, O you of little faith? “Therefore do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For after all these things the Gentiles seek. For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble. – Matthew 6:26-34
If we were not just hearers of the word but actually DOERS of the word, we would take these things to heart. We wouldn’t fret about how we are going to pay for children’s braces 5 years down the road, we wouldn’t worry about how we can get ourselves into a bigger house, we wouldn’t take out insurance policies for something that may or may not happen. Instead, we would be figuring out how we can keep ourselves going while also making sure we can support our neighbors.
To worry is to distrust God, it’s distrust in His plan. If we are a true doer of His word and not just a hearer, we will have complete faith in His plan for us. In order for us to have complete faith in His plan for us, we also have to believe in the prescription He provides in His word for us.
So, in order for us to trust God and His plan we have to be more than hearers of the word. If we want to be transformed beyond this planet earth, we have to be more than hearers of the word. If we want to be DOERS of the word, then we have to dig into the word itself and understand it. We have to breathe it and live it but we first have to READ it.
And not to sound condescending, there are a variety of plans to start reading the Bible if you aren’t sure where to start. So many excellent groups have Bible studies, not to mention wonderful men and women who have written ones (in addition to wonderful sermons series from a great many pastors that are essentially Bible studies as well.). Here are a variety of ones I know about and have used, please feel free to comment with others you think would be helpful. Remember, we are not of this world. So, if we aren’t of the world, we need to figure out how we are supposed to live on this earth with the gifts of the spirit.
- If: Equip
- You Version (Bible app for your phone that has plans within)
- Good Morning Girls
- Proverbs 31 Ministries
- In Touch Ministries
Ignorance of scripture is ignorance of Christ. – St. Jerome