19 Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger;
20 for the anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God.
21 Therefore put away all filthiness and rampant wickedness and receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls.
22 But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves.
23 For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks intently at his natural face in a mirror.
24 For he looks at himself and goes away and at once forgets what he was like.
25 But the one who looks into the perfect law, the law of liberty, and perseveres, being no hearer who forgets but a doer who acts, he will be blessed in his doing.
26 If anyone thinks he is religious and does not bridle his tongue but deceives his heart, this person’s religion is worthless.
27 Religion that is pure and undefiled before God the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world.
Reading God’s word, understanding it and living it are what makes up the active Christians who has a true desire to grow. God’s word has been graciously given to us as a means in which we can get to know God more and understand who He is and what His plans and purposes are for our lives. His word is also there to help teach, guide and correct us. God’s word is a means of encouragement and is our main tool in which God uses to communicate with His people.
This is a passage about the importance of what it means to truly live out God’s word. It is making it true and real in your heart and allowing for it to infiltrate every single part of your life. It is also pressing on the point of not forgetting what God’s word has been teaching you and using it as a means to fight off any temptation that goes against the Bible.
There are many who claim to have a vast knowledge of God’s word and yet it has no bearing on their life. The best way this passage describes this is one who looks into a mirror, walks away and then forgets what they look like. It is merely but a shallow image and one that is not important or of significance.
God’s word is active and is ready for us to dive into. Let us not read God’s word with a distracted heart. Allow for it to teach you and guide you each day and instill a desire in your heart to grow more and get to know God deeper and deeper each day.
Its been said that one thing makes people turn away from the gospel more than anything else. That thing is a person who professes to be a Christ follower but acts contrary to what they profess. While we may not believe that our behavior is that important, we must realize that the world had their eyes on us. Some of them waiting for us to mess up and others who are truly seeking understanding of what Christianity it all about. We are the bearers of the light in a dark world. Don’t let your flame be snuffed out by hypocrisy.
James’ warning do be doers of the word and not merely hearers is one that all Christians should take seriously. We simply cannot live a life that is Christian in words but not in deeds. As Jesus said repeatedly, a good tree produces good fruit.