Last week I wrote about “do something.” God pointed out another issue about doing something through a sermon from Andy Stanley (Senior Pastor, North Point Community Church). Don’t you just love how God works? Pastor Andy spoke on Matthew 7:24-27 and James 1:22-25. Basically, the same principle: one spoken by Jesus and the other by James, Jesus’ half-brother. James had the analogy of a mirror. Jesus had the analogy of a wise man building a house. I listen to several teachers every week on spiritual matters as well as health matters. It doesn’t do me any good if I just listen and do nothing else. Jesus says we are to “put these things into practice.” James says it is like us looking in a mirror and seeing ourselves but doing nothing with what we see. I know there are many people who spend at least an hour getting ready to face the world every morning. We are grateful that they have taken the time to do so. But what if our spirits were showing in the mirror instead? What would we do with what we see? We are to be a reflection of Christ. Is our spirit reflecting Him or do we need to spend more time working on it before we leave to face the world?
After looking at the Olympics for the last two weeks, I am aware of the practice it took for the athletes to be able to do the things they can do. As a child, I took piano and guitar lessons. I liked the theory of playing, but I hated to practice. As a health coach, my goal is to help others become healthier. I can talk to them and give them advice. It does no good unless they actually put the suggestions into practice. I can purchase the treadmill, but it is no good as a clothing rack. I have to do something with it. What we hear is nothing until we actually put it into practice. As the athlete practices to become better able to compete, I have to practice what I hear so that I can become better as well. I have found the best part of hearing the Word, is the freedom found from doing what I hear. This has made the difference in my life.
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