by Rick Warren — February 24, 2022
From This Is Us
“Be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves.”
James 1:22 (ESV)
The Bible says, “Be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves” (James 1:22 ESV).
The truth is, you can listen to sermons and study the Bible for decades. But if you never do anything about what you’ve heard and learned, you’re deceiving yourself and not really growing more like Christ.
D.L. Moody, an influential evangelist and Christian educator of the late 19th century, once said, “The Bible was not given to increase our knowledge, but to change our lives.” It’s a manual for living.
The Bible says, “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete” (2 Timothy 3:16-17 NKJV).
That verse points to four things about God’s Word. It shows you the path to walk on; that’s doctrine. It shows you where you got off the path; that’s reproof. It shows you how to get back on the path; that’s correction. And it shows you how to stay on the path; that’s instruction in righteousness. God’s Word is practical, real-world truth.
The problem is, most of us know a lot more than we actually put into practice. You say you believe in forgiveness, but do you forgive the people who’ve hurt you? You say you believe in waiting on God, but are you patient? God doesn’t want you to just take notes and say you believe things about his Word. He wants you to be a doer of his Word.
Jesus said in Matthew 28:20: “Teach them to do everything I have commanded you” (GW). He didn’t say, “Teach them to know everything I commanded you” or “Teach them to think about everything I commanded you.” He said, “Teach them to do.”
Don’t fool yourself into thinking that hearing God’s Word also means you’re applying God’s Word. Make plans to do something about what you hear so that you can grow into the person God created you to be.