Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like someone who looks at his face in a mirror and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like. But whoever looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues in it—not forgetting what they have heard, but doing it—they will be blessed in what they do. – James 2:22-25
Sunday after Sunday, Christians around the world throng churches hoping to learn something from sermons that are shared from the pulpit. The 21st century saw the explosion of information everywhere. At the tips of our fingers, we can get access via the internet to resources and knowledge that a man from a hundred years ago would only dream to attain. We have access to multiple versions and languages of the bible, along with its commentaries. Sermons today come in all forms of shape and medium. From podcast to videos of preachers teaching, all it takes a little know how to find these resources.
Yet, it’s interesting to see that despite the immense truth and revelations we can learn from these resources, we hardly almost see any, impact of these biblical principles on the lives of the believers. I believe that it’s possible that we can learn “too much” of the bible. I say this cautiously, as I’m not implying that we should tone down our thirst for biblical truths. Rather, I believe that it’s almost pointless that we study the bible but do not apply the truths in our lives. James warns us believers that if we only ‘listen’ to the word and not do anything about it, we are deceiving ourselves. Listening to a message about forgiveness does not exempt us from committing the sin of unforgiveness. Until unless we actively seek and pray that God reveal to us in our lives of any unforgiveness that we could be harboring, AND then make conscious efforts to forgive the people that God has reveal, we will then only be able to experience the blessing that James was referring. The same goes for all other biblical truths. May our lives move from just listening, but to deeds and actions. I pray that you will be encouraged to take this step of faith to review yourself, especially if you find yourself lacking in deeds in this area, and do what’s necessary to escape this deception.