But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves (James 1:22 ESV).
So what? It’s is a question I ask myself nearly every day of my life. If my walk with Christ takes me no further than my own little world, then so what? My life is either a “so what?” or a “so that!” And the point of listening to God’s Word is so that I’ll do His will in a world that so desperately needs Him.
As we wrap up our Journey in James, let’s pause and reflect on the ways James has challenged us. How does our faith lead to action? James warns us of the absolute futility of listening to God’s Word without some kind of response. I can almost hear him saying, “OK, you’ve heard from God. Now, what are you going to do with it?” James urges us to listen to God’s Word and then linger a while to let the truth soak in:
For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks intently at his natural face in a mirror. For he looks at himself and goes away and at once forgets what he was like. But the one who looks into the perfect law, the law of liberty, and perseveres, being no hearer who forgets but a doer who acts, he will be blessed in his doing (James1: 23, 24).
I’ve had a number of “aha” moments over the years while reading James. He beckons me to a dangerous trust. To stick my neck out. Take a risk. Leap into the unknown. Obey and grow.
But don’t rush off too soon and forget what you’ve heard, he cautions. Allow the words to sink in deep and change your heart. Reflect on what you’ve learned through your reading. What is God prompting you to do? Will your Journey through James be a “so what” or a “so that?”
Lord, I want to see my faith take wings. Let Your Word sink deep so that my faith becomes sturdy. Real. Alive. Give me the grace to believe and keep on believing. And Lord, make me a “doer” of your Word. Then, as James promises, I will be blessed in my “doing.” Keep me grounded always in grace but useful to You in this hurting and broken world.