“But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves.”— James 1:22

When you do things, why do you do them? There is some philosophy or value system that guides your actions, whether you are aware of that system or not. You and I listen to many ideas, but there are only certain ones that each of us reveres as true.

Matthew’s gospel gives an account of Jesus’ time in the wilderness. During this time, Jesus listened to the devil. He listened well enough to be able to understand the other’s arguments and refute them (Matthew 4:3-10).

In this encounter, Jesus was a hearer of temptation, but not a doer. The lesson in this is that “hearing,” by itself, is not enough. On the one hand, my hearing temptation is not enough to condemn me, but on the other hand, merely giving respectful attention to scripture or the trappings of faith is not enough to transform me.

Either way, I first have to agree. What I accept as true will be revealed in what I do.

[31 Days of James]