Get to the Point! That is exactly what James does in the letter that he wrote to the twelve tribes who had been scattered among the nations, most likely after the stoning of a deacon named Stephen. James gets to a very important point in verse 22 of chapter 1 with these words, “Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says” (James 1:22). We might wonder why James would need to tell us this, as if to think that one automatically becomes a doer of the Word upon hearing it. But there was and is a compelling need that inspired James to give us this stern warning. It encourages us to consider, “Am I living out what I am learning or am I being deceived into believing that simply hearing the Word is good enough?”
There are some settings that naturally promote more hearing that doing. When it comes to the preaching and teaching of the Word, most worship and classroom settings naturally favor the hearing. You can walk in, sit down, listen to the sermon or lesson, and walk out when the last word is spoken. The Word alone is powerful as a key ingredient to your spiritual growth. But as James has warned, there is still the need for more. What role does obedience play when it comes to experiencing true growth? Let me ask it this way: How can you really understand forgiveness or love or grace without experiencing them? You can hear them taught as subjects in a worship center or classroom, but consider the difference if you begin to practice them with a small community of fellow believers and beyond.
Maybe it is time for you and I to get to this point. We need to do as much living as learning. Let it never be said that our knowledge is greater than our obedience. Mature believers will be doers and not just listeners.