Doing the Truth

William C. Brownson

READ : James 1:22-25

But be doers of the word, and not merely hearers who deceive themselves. (v. 22)

Listening to God, though ever so important, is not enough. James, as we’ve seen, is intensely practical. He prizes reality in the Christian life. And he knows that it’s possible to listen to God’s Word and then do nothing about it.

How, we wonder, could that be? For Jesus and his apostles everything depends on obedience. James says that we may be hearers of the Word, but not doers. If that’s the case, we are simply fooling ourselves about our faith.

Suppose you get up in the morning and look in the mirror. You have a big meeting coming up today. You see your eyes are crusty; your beard (if you have one) is rough; your hair is a mess. Suppose now you do nothing. In that case, what good was the mirror? It showed how rotten you looked, but you ignored it. Good luck in that big meeting!

God’s Word is like a mirror. It shows us how we look to him, and how we need to change. It gives us a marvelous opportunity to grow, to become like Jesus. But if we don’t act on it, it does us no good. In fact, it makes us worse—harder in heart and more self-deceived.


Lord, help us not to dabble with your Word but to do it.