But prove yourselves doers of the word, and not merely hearers who delude themselves. For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks at his natural face in a mirror; for once he has looked at himself and gone away, he has immediately forgotten what kind of person he was. But one who looks intently at the perfect law, the law of liberty, and abides by it, not having become a forgetful hearer but an effectual doer, this man will be blessed in what he does.” - James 1:22-25 NASB
Awhile ago, I heard an interview with Christian music artist Jeremy Camp. In the course of the interview, Jeremy began sharing of the importance of us all becoming not only “hearers” of the Word but also “doers” of the Word.
He shared his concern of why so many people in our nation were beginning to walk away from the church… many who are saying, "That’s all good and fine for you, but I want to do my own thing,” when it comes to things of faith, especially church.
He shares that we as Believers - with so many great teachers and preachers of the Word around us and with so many tools at our fingertips, and so many Bible Studies and Small Groups available at most any time of the day - have become hearers and not doers.
And recently I heard an interview with Francis Chan and he said something very similar and eye opening, “The enemy wants us to do anything but make Disciples... do ministry, prep for a sermon or a class, even attend another Bible Study or two.... anything but making disciples.”
You know, they’re right... we’ve become hearers and not doers.
We have become Fat Sheep.
We can eat up the Word, take it all in like a sheep in a pristine new field. Eating until our heart is content. Getting fatter and fatter as we eat because we’re not working it off. All we are doing is eating... and standing... and eating some more... until we become Fat Sheep.
And as fatted sheep, we’re ripe for the slaughter.
Don’t get me wrong. Bible Study, Worship, Small Groups, Prayer Groups are all so very important in the life and maturation of all of us as Believers.
However, we also need to live as Jesus would want us to live - taking what we are learning and applying it to our lives. Taking what we are hearing and putting into action in the world around us. Taking what we say we believe and then going therefore and making disciples, making a difference... touching lives, changing hearts. Whether that is going next door or half-way around the world.
Kind of like being a missionary in an emerging nation and taking on a clean water project. Not only can that missionary give the people in that little part of the world clean and life giving water, but he/she can touch them and give them the Living Water. Because they are making a difference and meeting the needs of the people of that village or town, the people are more open to hearing what the missionary believes.
Faith put into action leading to faith.
I’m not saying that we all should leave our jobs and our homes to go and be missionaries some where (though you may be being called to do just that.)
I am, however, saying that it is time for us to stop being Fat Sheep and start putting our faith and all that we are learning (or able to learn) to work. Not because we have to, but because we want to. Because of Jesus’ great love for us, we should want to go and do to show our love for Him... so all the world might see and know.
Be hearers AND doers of the Word...
Keep the Faith... Carpe Diem.