Hearers and Doers

Author: Ben Puthukeril

I live in Georgia now, but when I lived in Texas, one of my favorite Tex-Mex places to eat was Chipotle. When I got the opportunity to go to one while visiting Atlanta, I was ecstatic. Going back into that place, I just missed the food and loved having the option of building a burrito the way I wanted it.

I heard an analogy recently that shared how believers treat the word of God like a Chipotle line:

Romans 8:28—”God works all things together for good”—yes, put that in my bowl

John 16:33—”In this world you will have trouble”—not my bowl, that’s for the next guy

Ecclesiastes 8:15—”Eat, drink, and be merry”—yes, two times

Ephesians 5:18—”Do not get drunk with wine”—pass, hard pass

Genesis 2:25—”They were naked and unashamed”—please

1 Corinthians 6:18—”Flee sexual immorality”—no thank you

Psalm 37:4—”God will give the desires of your heart”—oh, that’s me, I’ll take all of that

Matthew 28:19—”Go and make disciples of all nations”—no, not me, maybe on vacation I’ll go to all nations

Before you know it, you are getting choosy with the Bible. You are going through life like you get to pick what reality is, and it doesn’t work that way. When you do that, you’re trying to come to God on your own terms, and you end up inconsistent anyway.

It may be amusing to read that, and you may think it’s outrageous because all of those scriptures are out of context, but the unfortunate truth is

that’s how we often approach the Word of God.

In our chapel youth group, we are going through the book of James, and the passage that we covered most recently deals with this exact issue.

But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. 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. For he looks at himself and goes away and at once forgets what he was like. 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. | James 1:22-25

It is interesting to see that in verse 22, James mentions that a person who only hears the word but does not practice it deceives himself.

How does that deception take place?

It comes from not genuinely spending time in the Bible. We deceive ourselves into thinking that we are walking with the Lord and growing spiritually by doing a quick daily reading, saying a short prayer, and moving on with our day. I want to emphasize that it’s not the amount of time spent in God’s Word that’s important but rather the quality of the time spent. There are so many ways to spend our quiet time with the Lord but the important piece of that needs to be the communion that takes place. It is not just hearing from the Word of God but rather a conscious action of what we need to do more of, feel more of, or think more of in light of what we read. When we place action against what we hear and read, it becomes transformation in our walk and shows thru our growth.

James goes on to say in verse 23-24 that just hearing the Word of God is like a person who looks at themselves in the mirror but is oblivious to the changes that need to be made. Think about that for a second. What if you woke up one morning, walked in front of the mirror, and observed several things about yourself—you noticed that you probably needed to wash your face, brush your teeth, and comb your hair to at least look presentable. If you noticed all those things and didn’t make changes or failed to notice them at all, what purpose did that mirror serve? You might as well have gone out the way you woke up! That shouldn’t be the reaction of a believer.

We are called to be doers who act on the scripture we hear.

There is also another piece to this that’s critical in the response of our reading. Verse 25 mentions the one who looks in the perfect law and perseveres will be blessed.

What is the importance of perseverance?

It shows that it needs to an unending, continual consistency to practice the word of God. We can’t be sunshine Christians. Just when the going is good, it’s convenient, or when we feel like it, we choose to practice our faith. It can’t be like that Chipotle line. We can’t pick and choose what we want to practice or what fits our preference, but rather we have to accept all the truths the Bible teaches, practice them, and persevere in our faith! The Christian walk is a journey and we often treat it like a Costco membership. We feel like if we signup and pay our annual dues, we receive the benefits of being a member. That is not the Christian life. It is a relationship with our heavenly Father. It takes a genuine spirit, dedication, steadfastness, and selflessness.

It is not only about the destination but also how we get there.

When we strive to be doers of what we hear in our daily walk, we have the opportunity to have a lasting impact on the world around us and, most importantly, worship our Savior while doing it.

puthuBen Puthukeril resides in Augusta, GA with his wife, Brittany, where they attend Martinez Bible Chapel and serve there as youth leaders. He works full-time as a witness for his Savior and part-time as the Quality Assurance & Engineering Manager for an automotive company. Ben desires to encourage other young people who are growing in their faith to have a reckless abandonment to this world and follow Jesus wholeheartedly. When he’s not busy ensuring the quality of vehicles, he enjoys spending his time playing basketball, building computers, playing video games, flying drones, and nerding out on technology. He and Brittany enjoy traveling in their spare time but have a greater passion for short-term missions whenever they get the opportunity.

One thought on “Hearers and Doers

  1. Thank you for this! I laughed at the intro, and I found the looking in the mirror and not combing hair illustration to be helpful.

    Parker Dingeldein

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