Don’t just listen, do it

“Do what I say, not what I do” is an old expression used to describe a hypocrite. We seem to be hearing a lot from people these days that go out in public and profess one thing but then are caught doing another. How about these examples: the politician who talks about decency and moral values while carrying on affair with a young staffer or the Hollywood star who supports animal rights and is then seen wearing a fur coat. What about us as parents or supervisors? Does hypocrisy exist by us? I once attended a national conference for leaders to find peers planning golf outings and casino trips instead of finding classes to attend, only to return home and deny anyone else the opportunity to attend because “those conferences are not really helpful to us here at in small town”. We are all preparing for tax season and it’s a great ethical discussion – is stealing wrong? If so, why is okay to cheat on your taxes? We all tell those in our lives that we love them but do we do anything that shows them we do? We can all go around and tell people to do things or tell them how to live their lives but we need to be ready to do the same things we tell others to do. We often hear people tell us what to do or what is expected of us and yet we fail to follow their direction because its silly or we don’t agree with it. Imagine how you would react if you found out that someone ignored what you asked them to do. It’s a matter of honesty, we should do as we say or do as we are asked. When does personal freedom end and anarchy begin?

“Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.” James 1:22

“I go to church on Sunday, why do I need to read the bible during the week?” “I’m a good Christian. I give money to charities and donate my time when I can”. How often have you heard these phrases or even said them? I started a bible study this week at my home church and we are talking about discipleship. One definition of disciple is learner or growing in faith and knowledge. We discussed the idea of being in God’s Word on a regular basis. It reminded me of a conversation that I had with someone struggling. I said that when you go to church, you are getting God on you and when you participate in the sacrament of communion that you are getting God in you. By studying the Word of God and putting it into practice you are also getting God in you. While this theory of mine is not based in sound theology, it makes sense. Becoming one with God is what He desires for us. The bible is full of instructions for us to live our lives but if we don’t know it we can’t do it. Take time to start studying the Word given to us by God and then put them to action. God has begun His good work in you; help Him by being a part of the work, you can’t lose.