But don’t just listen to God’s word. You must do what it says. Otherwise, you are only fooling yourselves.
Let’s imagine for a moment that you’re very hungry, so you go into a restaurant and ask for a menu. You look it over and carefully read the descriptions of the various things they’re serving. But is that going to satisfy your hunger? Will you be able to put the menu down and say, Thank you. I feel much better now?
Or what if you memorized the contents of every single item on the menu? You know it so well that you could stand in front of the restaurant and say, Ask me whatever you want. I’ve memorized the menu. That’s fine, but it won’t fill your stomach. You need to order the food and then eat it.
It’s the same thing when it comes to the Word of God. We not only need to hear it, but we also need to do it. We need to apply what we’ve heard.
James wrote, But don’t just listen to God’s word. You must do what it says. Otherwise, you are only fooling yourselves. For if you listen to the word and don’t obey, it is like glancing at your face in a mirror. You see yourself, walk away, and forget what you look like (James 1:22–24 NLT).
In the original language, the act of looking in a mirror speaks of an attentive scrutiny. This is a picture of someone who sees their reflection in a mirror, realizes that something needs to be done, but doesn’t act on it.
When we hear the Word of God, we should allow God’s Holy Spirit to take that truth and bring it home to our hearts. Truth acted on brings more truth. But failure to respond to the truth ultimately will result in the loss of truth. God’s Word becomes a millstone if we don’t make it a milestone.