James 1: 22-24 “Be doers of the Word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. For if anyone is a hearer of the Word and not a doer, he is like a person who looks at his face in a mirror and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like.”
Let’s imagine this…
You are going on a date.
You dress nicely.
You do your makeup.
You did your hair.
Halfway through the meal you go to the restroom and while washing your hands you notice it. You have a huge grotesque piece of spinach in your front teeth. You are horrified! What do you do? Well, when you turn from the mirror to dry your hands you completely forget about it. You travel back to your date with a huge smile in all your green glory.
That’s a very literal analogy of what James is saying so let’s look at it this way.
I woke up early to capture that short window of time before the kids wake. I grabbed my coffee, found my chair. Verse of the day. “Love your neighbor as yourself”, Mark 12:31. Instantly, I think wow that’s convicting! Nevermind that I could very possibly have one of the most challenging neighbors in the entire world.
Anyway, moving on…
I did my devotional.
Scrolled through Facebook. Ooh, I like that verse. Hit like, maybe share it.
Then suddenly, I’m knee deep in laundry, errands, to do lists, kissing booboo’s, playing on the floor and helping with homework.
How many times did I pass this neighbor in the chaos of the day. It’s at this point when reflecting on James 22-24, I have to ask myself. Am I being a hearer or a doer? At what point did I love my not so lovable neighbor as myself?
Then the dialog goes in my head something like this…
“But he’s so mean – not just to me but to my kid!”
“But he’s lonely.”
“But he can be really nasty.”
“But he’s hurting.”
“Love your neighbor as yourself”
Let’s be honest. I can remember times when I haven’t been so friendly to others, maybe lonely, maybe projecting my hurts on other. When I read that verse of the day that morning, was I convicted? Did I allow it to truly penetrate my heart? Was I being a doer or just a hear? At what point, do I truly live the Word?
How did I allow the devotion that I read that morning to change the way I interact with my husband? The devotional was soaked in great biblical truths. Was I hearing it? Or was I living it?
James 1:22 “Be doers of the Word.”
What are you saying here James?
You not only want me to hear the Word but you want me to “DO” the Word. Okay, I get it. You want me to LIVE IT OUT. You want me to LIVE like Christ. To be a DOER of the Word is to LIVE the Word.
John 1:1 says, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.”
Ok, I get it James. To be doers of the Word is to say that we are to live like Christ.
What does that look like? Because let’s be honest, life is busy.
Isn’t it good enough that I am reading the Word? Now James is saying that’s not enough? So how do I allow my sinful nature to change into a life that can glorify God?
The apostle Paul says give great instructions on how to make that happen.
“Do not conform to the patterns of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.“ Romans 12:2
Paul is telling us to renew our minds. When you simply read the Word and do not think on it, pray on it, and allow it to move from head to heart knowledge you are simply a hearer not a doer. If we want to be Christ like we must be transformed by renewing our minds.
Just like we become more like the company we keep. Proverbs 13:20 says “Walk with the wise and become wise; associate with fools and get in trouble.”
The amazing thing about the bible is that as you spend time with God, as reading, the Word becomes part of you. As you think about it and pray about it, God is molding you and suddenly by the grace of God working through you, you become “Doers of the Word”. You allow Christ to move in you, by RENEWING your mind.
We are all in different stages of our walk. We all have our own unique circumstances in our lives.
What James is asking you to do isn’t to become a theological scholar. He’s inviting you into a relationship with the Word of God.
Take that circumstance you are going through right now and look to see what the Word says about it. The next time the Holy Spirit speaks to your soul with a verse….
Pause on it.
Pray about it.
Think or meditate on it.
This is renewing your mind! The renewing of your mind brings your will into agreement with Gods will. Suddenly, I’m looking at my not so lovable neighbor in a new light. God’s Word is great instruction and a call to action. A call to renew our minds to come in alignment with the will of God.
In the book of John, it says (paraphrased) I came so that they can have real and eternal life, more and better life than they ever dreamed of. Jesus himself is life.
Don’t miss this: when you live the WORD you truly LIVE.
So be a doer. Let’s renew our minds to live abundantly.
Ok, now let’s put this into practice! Download our free Doers scripture printable. Print them out. Cut them apart. Select one card per day. Meditate on that verse and ask God how you can DO it.
Mary Bender and her husband Norman live in Greencastle, PA. They have three energetic boys, and one adorable little girl.
Mary counts herself as being truly blessed to be a stay at home mom to her four “littles”. In addition to being a wife and mother Mary uses her God given gifts to serve in women’s ministry at her church, LCBC, as a life group leader. Mary also uses her passion for women’s ministry for serve on the board of directors for The Connection.
It is Mary’s desire to serve and encourage women to have genuine faith while building a home and raising her children.