One of the many reasons why I appreciate the book of James so much is because he is the blunt friend we all need. He’s the one who will tell you like it is without sugar-coating things. His directness doesn’t stem from a heart of anger or bitterness but of compassion and challenge.
He knows what we as Christians are called to, and He pushes us out of our comfort zones and into a place where we see ourselves for who we are.
James 1:22 reads “But prove yourselves doers of the Word, and not merely hearers who delude themselves.” Delude, as defined by Webster’s, is to be fooled or deceived, to believe something that isn’t true.
So, in short what James is saying is that if your faith walk only takes you as far as a pew on Sunday then you’re truly missing out on the glories of salvation. If you hear the Message of Jesus Christ and of God’s sovereign power preached every week, but you refuse to do anything about it, you’re deluding yourself.
We are to put feet to our faith. How are we impacting our families? Our communities? Our cities? Our nation?
Do they see something different in the way we live or do we blend in with the rest of the world?
I can just feel the passion of James through the words on these pages. His message is urgent, and his zeal is Kingdom-based.
For those of us who are more visual learners, James offers a picture of what it is to be a hearer but not a doer. “For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks at his natural face in a mirror; for once he has looked at himself and gone away, he has immediately forgotten what kind of person he was.” (James 1:23-24)
The man who looked in the mirror and forgot what he looked like was careless, his mind unfocused. Yes, he looked in the mirror, but if he couldn’t remember anything when he stepped away, what was the point?
The same can be said for our faith. If we experience Jesus in Sunday worship or weekday Life Group but we live as though we’ve forgotten Jesus every other day of our lives, what’s the point?
We are able to hear so that we can tell.