Read: James 1:22-27
As a kid, my mom would tell me to clean my room. I heard her clearly, understood what she wanted me to do, knew how to do it, and even had every intention to do it. I wanted to obey her, but I didn’t actually follow through. I obviously didn’t follow my Mom’s desires.
James 1:22 says, “But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves.” James is telling us that we cannot just read and listen to God’s word. Following God’s word requires action. We can know the Bible through and through, but if we don’t do as it says, it is useless.
James compares it to a man who looks at himself in the mirror for a while, yet the moment he walks away forgets what he looks like. This man seems crazy, but that’s the point. James is comparing this man to those who know the commands of God but don’t do them. It’s crazy.
We often do this with God. We know what God wants of us, yet we don’t do it. Even if we have every intention and desire to follow Him, if we don’t take action, we are disobeying Him. The word of God isn’t just a good read. It’s a set of instructions that tell us how to live and follow God.
During the time Jesus walked the Earth, the Pharisees were a religious group who knew the Bible better than anyone. They constantly studied it, but didn’t do what it said. They instead twisted and manipulated it to condemn others around them. They were extremely religious, but failed to have a true relationship with God and truly follow Him and His word.
“If anyone thinks he is religious and does not bridle his tongue but deceives his heart, this person’s religion is worthless.” James writes in James 1:26. Religion is worthless if we act like the rest of the world who doesn’t know God. There is no point in knowing the Word of God if we aren’t going to do anything with the knowledge.
We can go to church on Sundays, attend small group, read our Bible, have morning devotionals with coffee, wear a cross around our necks and a Hebrew tattoo, and fill our walls with pretty verses and Pinterest quotes about God. But when our actions, thoughts, and words resemble nothing of what Christ has commanded through His written Word, everything else is utterly worthless. Our worth is found in Christ alone.
Where in your life are you not living out what the Bible says? Are you actively doing what you have been reading and learning? Think of an area in which you know there needs to be improvement and write out a prayer to God asking Him to help you do it.