“But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves. For if any man be a hearer of the word, and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a glass: For he beholdeth himself and goeth his way, and straightaway forgetteth what manner of man he was” (James 1:22-24).
LIGHT FOR NOW: You are a doer of the word and not just a hearer of the word.
In our opening text, James’ use of the word ‘deceiving’ implies to delude yourself; that is, to act contrary to who you are. A believer in a behavioral misconduct is acting contrary to his nature. Let’s observe James words in context; “if any man be a hearer of the word and not a doer”; this means the reason a believer’s conduct may contradict with who he really is, will be a function of not doing the word. You are not a doer of the word (you are only a hearer). James emphasis was placed on doing the word and not just hearing the word. The greatest deception a believer can do to himself is to hear the word and not do the word. The believer is only deceiving himself when he is not acting on the word.
The difference between the hearer of the word and the one who hears and does the word is that the hearer only forgets. Verse 14 reads “For he beholdeth himself, and goeth his way, and straightaway forgetteth what manner of man he was”. The word, ‘forget’ used by James here is not a memory loss; rather it implies to lay aside what one knows for something else. You cannot understand who you are when your eyes are not fixed on the word of God. You cannot ignore the word and your spiritual growth is not affected.
You are born of the word. Your realities are in the word. Your character trait as a new creature is still in the word. It is not God that will suffer if you ignore his word; it is you that will suffer for ignoring his word. You cannot live fully if you do not pay attention to the written word.
The written word unveils yourself to you. It unveils your character traits to you. No wonder Peter in his epistle makes a very crucial statement: “wherefore laying aside all malice, and all guile, and hypocrisies, and envies, and all evil speaking: As new born babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby”. Peter lets us know that it is our desire for the word which will result in spiritual growth that will bring the character change in verse 1. Therefore as the one who has the nature of God in him feeds on the word, that character trait changes and new habits that corresponds with his new nature develops. This is a function of God’s word. Therefore, you cannot ignore the word.
INSTRUCTION: Stay on the word.
PRAYER: I am a walking nature of the glory of God. A manifestation of the life of God; a dispenser of good works. Amen.
QUOTE: The degree of the word you study is the degree of your spiritual growth.
DAILY BIBLE READING: MORNING: Ephesians chapter 5; EVENING: Ephesians Chapter 6