Bible Reflection: Are You a Doer of the Word or Hearer Only?

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Are You a Doer of the Word or Hearer Only?

Stay Dedicated to God and Obedient to His Word

by J.M. Troppello

Do you read the Bible and apply the message to your life? In full disclosure, I’m not always good at doing that. However, I’m getting better at reading, studying, and applying it to my life each day. It helps when you realize that God’s Word is His love letter to you. Embracing that thought can cultivate a desire in your heart to want to read and apply the Word daily.

21 Therefore lay aside all filthiness and overflow of 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 observing his natural face in a mirror; 24 for he observes himself, goes away, and immediately forgets what kind of man he was. 25 But he who looks into the perfect law of liberty and continues in it, and is not a forgetful hearer but a doer of the work, this one will be blessed in what he does. 26 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. 27 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 1:21-27, NKJV)

Hearing and Applying God’s Word

I think the wording receive with meekness is a key factor in how James wrote this passage and how it should be received. If you want to truly get something out of God’s Word, you need to receive it with meekness and not pride. The note from the Thomas Nelson Study Bible (TNSB) is helpful in understanding how you can receive the Word with meekness.

“The Word of God that has been implanted in the believer’s heart should be received with meekness—describing a teachable spirit—without resistance, disputing, or questioning. Receiving God’s Word in this way will save the believer’s soul, a word meaning ‘life.’ Sin leads to death (v 15). Obedience prevents death; it protects a believer from sinful behavior that can lead directly or indirectly to physical death (see: v 15; I Cor. 11:30)” [Source: TNSB]

If you hear the Word only and don’t obey it, you are only deceiving yourself (v 22). I don’t want to deceive myself. I want to be open to embracing the entirety of God’s Word – both the parts I want to read (about blessings) and the parts I don’t always like reading (about obedience). God’s blessing will be upon the person who hears God’s Word and becomes a doer of it as well (v 25).

“The perfect law of liberty (v 25) is the law of love. Loving God and loving one’s neighbor sums up the law (see: Matt. 26:36-40). But it is Christ’s love (Eph. 3:17-19) which frees us from our sins to truly love others (John 8:36-38; Gal. 5:13).” [Source: TNSB]

It always comes back to love. God loved the world and gave His only Son to die on the cross and be risen again (John 3:16). As believers, we are called to love God and others. Love is a redeeming force in our world today. We need more people to exhibit the love of God to others.

Are you a doer of the Word or a hearer only?

Article syndicated by Mustard Seed Sentinel on


About the Author

JM Troppello at Mustard Seed Sentinel

J.M. Troppello is an author, writer, and poet. She is the publisher of the online Christian lifestyle magazine, Mustard Seed Sentinel.

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