“But don’t just listen to God’s word. You must do what it says. Otherwise, you are only fooling yourselves.” James 1:22 NLT
I knew that I was needing hand protection because I was planning to paint a whole room. I stuffed my pocket with disposable gloves so that I would have what I needed when I got there, then walked to where I was painting, and without another thought of the gloves, I put paint into the tray and began to paint. A couple hours later my hands were covered in mauve-colored paint. It was only then that I thought about the gloves, but it was lunch time. I spent several minutes washing the dried paint from my hands and went to eat.
After lunch I again went back to where I was painting. Do you suppose I put my gloves on? Of course not. I just dove right in and started painting never even thinking about them. A couple hours later, after my hands were again covered with latex paint, it dawned on me that my gloves were not doing me any good in my pocket.
How many times do we read our Bible and ask our amazing Creator God to teach us how to live? We learn what we are supposed to do, and then go off and totally forget what we just learned. Why is that? Like James says, we are only fooling ourselves if we know our Bible front to back, yet don’t live by it.
Think about this: How many times in the Bible does it tell us to love others and to treat them as we want to be treated? We certainly know what the Bible says, but do we really treat people that way? How did you treat the person you love the most the last time you saw them? Was it your spouse, your child, your mom or dad? Were you yelling at them because they seem so distant and uncaring? Maybe they were, but did you talk to them as if you really cared about them? Did you talk to them the way you would like to be talked to?
Or what about the last family you saw on the street corner begging? I know, there are lots of programs out there that have been created just for those kinds of situations, and besides, they need to go get a job. Right? I know that there are people who try and take advantage of your caring spirit and generosity, but how do you really know that the family you just saw was like that? I cannot imagine being in such need that I am willing to ask my family to help me sit by the roadside all day begging for your help, but I know it happens.
Yes, there are times that we really don’t know what to say or do, but we know Someone who does know! Jesus knows the real needs, and only He knows the real motives. Ask Him to give you the right motives too. Ask Him for the right words, and the right actions.
"if you look carefully into the perfect law that sets you free, and if you do what it says and don’t forget what you heard, then God will bless you for doing it." vs 25
Listen, learn, and then obey!