James 1: 22.
“Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.”
I wonder if we’re familiar with those who go on about their faith, yet leave us confused by their actions? Somehow, what they say and what they do contradict each other. I wonder too, about ourselves? What about it? Does our life cause confusion for another member of the family or within the body of Christ? Could we be a stumbling block for some, or have some caused us to stumble along the way?
To be doers of the word is to actively make changes in our lives according to the truth we hear. If we hear the truth that God is our gracious, heavenly Father who alone gives us our worth and if we truly believe it, then we must live like it, not just say it. The Psalmist in Psalm 119: 7 says,….”As I learn Your righteous regulations, I will “thank” You by living as I should.”
Alright then…How do we live it? Of course, it’s an ongoing process of growing into maturity with Christ. Daily, we have to allow our habits, thoughts, words, and actions to be changed, renewed, or transformed. We must do an about-face, turning from greed, envy, grumbling, criticism, revenge, and “lay aside all filthiness and overflow of wickedness” as James 1:21 reveals. The way we think about ourselves, the way we treat others, what we do with our time, our money, our lifestyle and our overall outlook and attitude towards life need to be measured against God’s goodness and grace. If we hang on to sinful ways and refuse to let them fall away from us we are not believing that God is who He says He is, and that He will do what He says He will do. We live in compromise with a divided mind. We say we trust but we do not. We merely lie to ourselves and deceive others as well.
If we have asked Jesus to forgive us and if we truly repent, for sure we are Christians and covered by His blood. That’s His promise of salvation to us. He doesn’t go back on His Word, and He doesn’t fail us. But if a baby is just born into this world and isn’t fed or talked to, growth won’t happen and death will occur. It’s the same for a Christian. Just to be born into God’s family is only the first step! Growth is an ongoing process and yes, it’s a lifetime of leaning on God and actively hearing and doing as we learn from Him. We will never reach perfection because we are just so human but In God’s infinite wisdom He knows that and that’s why He covers us with His vast and lavish grace, ready to forgive and set us back on track when we fall.