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 1:22-25 (NIV)
It’s humiliating but I will admit it, I have looked in the mirror and not remembered if I fixed my hair or not. Was I. in a hurry or just enchanted with my handsomeness—probably in a hurry—but either way, I didn’t know if I would walk into that meeting looking like I knew what I’d be talking about or if I just woke up.
Now let’s get more real. I’ve read the scripture, sometimes even just one verse, and 5 minutes later forgot what I read.
Now really, how could I ever apply that passage of scripture and let it transform my life if I can’t even remember it? Not likely.
But just as bad as forgetting what I read is when I read scripture but don’t apply it. I just let it sit in my mind and it never works itself to my heart, hands, and mouth.
James says those who read and don’t heed are deceived.— You like that? I just came up with it. Well, at least I think I did.
To read scripture and not apply it is like telling yourself you are the next Phil Mickelsen and you don’t even own a set of golf clubs.
There isn’t just bad news in this passage. There is hope when we apply the truth of scripture and let it transform us. First, we are transformed by Jesus setting us free. Secondly, when we continue to apply the truth of scripture, we become blessed in what we do.
The things you apply yourself to will stand out among others. Your career will look different and people will see the difference and see the results. Your marriage will be blessed. Your kids will be blessed. Your finances will be blessed.
A lot of times we want the blessings of God but aren’t willing to follow the truth of God. To try this approach is what James is labeling as “deceived!”
My next step:
Heed what I read and I’ll be blessed indeed.