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Have you ever been following your GPS only to find that it took you to the wrong place? I had that happen a couple of years ago and ended up in a cul-de-sac instead of my uncle and aunt’s retirement village. You would think Google Maps could find something as big as that, right?
I was totally lost and had to stop at a gas station and ask for directions.
Have you ever had that happen and then drive away, promptly forgetting whether your next turn would be a left or right?
Today, we are going to continue to look at James’ warning to be an authentic hearer by being a doer of the word, and not hearers only.
Let’s dig right in!!
Digging Deeper: James 1:19-27
Key Verse: But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. James 1:22
Doing What You Hear in God’s Word
Doing what you read in God’s Word is so key to actually being godly. If you continue to live like the world and then try to leave the impression with others that you are righteous, you are not being authentic.
You are hearing but not doing.
Qualities for Authentic Hearers
There are three qualities for listening: to God, your husband, your boss, or a friend that every Believer should do:
- Swift to hear
- Slow to speak
- Slow to wrath
We think it is alright for us to get angry when we feel justified over an issue. You with me?
You might become angry at your husband, your kids, or a friend.
But James warns through the Holy Spirit,
For the wrath of man does not produce the righteousness of God. (James 1:20)
We aren’t justified in our anger and this says that wrath doesn’t produce the righteousness of God!
Be a Doer as Well as a Hearer!!
But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves. (James 1:22)
This is so key to walking with God in a way that is real. We all want to be ‘real’ don’t we? We hear that all the time . . . “just being real” . . . but are we real in how we live our Christianity before others? Really real?
Where I have been failing in my walk is in how I respond to my husband. It seems like marriage is always the thermometer for how I am doing spiritually. UGH!
There is a solution to how I am responding found at the end of this passage.
I think how we are to be hearers is made very clear!!
Being Hearers by Reaching Out to Widows and Orphans
If anyone among you thinks he is religious, and does not bridle his tongue but deceives his own heart, this one’s religion is useless. Pure and undefiled religion before God and the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their trouble and to keep oneself unspotted from the world. (James 1:26-27)
First, we need to be:
- Swift to hear
- Slow to speak
- Slow to wrath
- Remember that wrath does not equal righteousness
- Rid yourself of moral filth and evil
- Be hearers only
- Remember that you look in the mirror and then walk away and forget what you look like!!
THEN, you (and I) need to:
- Bridle your tongue!! Ouch!!
- Get busy including orphans and widows in what we are doing!
As women, we can sure talk a LOT. We tend to talk all about what we are doing while not doing the things that matter most.
We can be living opposite to what we are saying when the doors to our home are shut to our friends who we love to impress. It is all about our reputation until it is just our husband and children. Believe me, I am feeling the pinch of what I am sharing. Just being honest with you.
We need to close our mouth and get busy living out the gospel.
Do you know a widow?
Do you know a woman who is divorced and struggling? Does she have young children?
What can you (and I) do to encourage her today?
Yes, today’s widows often include women who have not chosen to be divorced but have a husband who walked away from his family for another relationship. It has been touching each one of us.
I have friends in this situation.
Your divorced friend may not tell you of her “X” husband’s affair, so don’t judge her because you may not have all the facts.
These women are hurting daily as they try to accomplish things that they need a man to do for them. It isn’t just companionship. It is the things that their children need a dad to do but he has walked out! It is things that she needs a husband to do but he isn’t around. Love on her today!!
Living as Authentic Hearers
Today, decide to more fully live out James 1:19-27 and allow Christ to be reflected in your life.
Reach out on Facebook messenger and encourage a widow or her children.
Pick up the phone and call to encourage her (if you prefer.)
Don’t just read this and study James without being authentic hearers!!
How has this passage of Scripture spoken to your heart today? Has it encouraged you in your marriage like it has mine?