“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, immediately forgets what he looks like.” – James 1:23.24From Dave Atkinson:
One of the obvious effects of the current lockdown is that, when you look in a mirror, it is more likely to reveal the need to do something about hair growth. For me, it is the wild eyebrows that can take on a particularly scary appearance! But, once I’ve walked away from the mirror the eyebrows are out of sight and the motivation to do anything about them diminishes; until, that is, I see Ailish standing ready with clippers in hand!
A much better effect of the lockdown is that, for many of us, it has helped us to form new daily rhythms which provide more time and opportunity to hear from God through reading and listening to his words in the Bible. The challenge though, as James explains in chapter 1 of his letter, is whether we do anything in response to what God has spoken to us about.
It can be easy to walk away from God’s Word and forget or ignore what we’ve heard, or, how the Lord asks us to respond. But God instructs us, in verse 22, “Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.”
One reason why God wants us to do what his Word says is that, otherwise, we miss out on being blessed (verse 25); of being happy that his Spirit is transforming us to be more like Jesus and, in turn, drawing us into closer relationship with him.
Lockdown has provided fresh opportunities to help us be both listeners and doers of God’s Word, and the timeless instructions of Deuteronomy 6:7-9 are a great place to go for ideas which can easily be applied today. Talk to someone else in the house about what you’ve read and how you have committed to respond. Perhaps get everyone in your house together to read and chew over a passage together – we did that in our house on this very passage earlier this week. If you are alone in the house, why not share what God has shown you with someone by phone, text, or email. You could put reminders on your door frames – and even your mirrors.