James 1: 22-25
A person who shouts, “Amen, Pastor, it’s in the book!” but slanders a fellow member on the parking lot is a person who looked into the Word of God and got excited about who it said she was, but leaving the atmosphere of the anointing was not transformed by it. This is a perfect scenario of James 1:22-25.
The Amplified Bible helps us clearly understand James’ teaching on what I call spiritual hypocrisy with little commentary from me.
Verse 22a – But prove yourselves doers of the word [actively and continually obeying God’s precepts]. It is not enough just to hear God’s Word, but it is necessary to live the truths we learned every solitary day.
Verse 22b – and not merely listeners [who hear the word but fail to internalize its meaning]. The old folk of my day used to say, “There ought to be some sign.” If you accepted the Word as truth from God to be received in your heart, it ought to show in your Christian lifestyle. Otherwise, it excited your emotions but did not settle in your soul.
Verse 22c – deluding yourselves [by unsound reasoning contrary to the truth]. When you hear the Word of God and live contrary to it, you are only fooling yourself. Everyone else can see the contradiction.
Verse 23-24 – For if anyone only listens to the word ]without obeying it, he is like a man who looks very carefully at his natural face in a mirror; 24 for once he has looked at himself and gone away, he immediately forgets what he looked like. The Bible is a mirror that reflects your spiritual condition/spiritual maturity level. “A mirror shows the reality. It exposes what you look like, but it can’t change you. To look into a mirror is a call to action” (Tony Evans). It is not enough to have mental assent of the Holy Scriptures. You must obey the will of God concerning you expressed in them.
Verse 25 – But he who looks carefully into the perfect law, the law of liberty, and faithfully abides by it, not having become a [careless] listener who forgets but an active doer [who obeys], he will be blessed and favored by God in what he does [in his life of obedience]. If you want to be blessed, OBEY GOD! It is that simple, but not easy. That is okay. Do the hard thing. Obey God and you will be blessed beyond all that you could possibly ask or think. God rewards obedience to HIS Word.
Suggested Assignment: Make time to study God’s Word so that you know what it says. Decide to obey. If you struggle with obeying the Word of God, pray and ask God to help you submit to His will and way expressed in the Bible. Let me repeat: God rewards obedience to His Word. You will be blessed, happy, to be envied. #Join the conversation.