“Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like a man who looks at his face in a mirror and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like. But the man who looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues to do this, not forgetting what he has heard, but doing it—he will be blessed in what he does.” ~ James 1:22-25 (NIV)
American Christianity tends to be a lot like this: going to church, oooing and aahhing in agreement at what the pastor says, raising their hands during worship, saying hi to the people sitting around them, and then, starting the week like Sunday never happened. We live a life of hypocrisy. I admit, I’m included in this list of hypocrites. For example, I love talking about God but my prayer life and Scripture reading is quite nonexistent.
Jesus openly called out the Pharisees for their hypocrisy as mentioned in Luke 11:37-54. ”’You foolish people,”’ Jesus said in verse 40. I can picture the Pharisees really looking at themselves in a mirror and having thoughts like, “I am the better person,” or “I am more religious than anyone here.” No human is better then anyone other human except for the Lord Jesus Christ. In addition, the Pharisees did not have open ears. In other words, whatever Jesus said to them only made them angrier at Him.
Another example I noticed of American Christianity is that we change ourselves depending on the situation. At church, we call ourselves Christian. In a bar, we can become alcoholics. At home, we become victims of “innocent” material on TV or on a computer. It’s like we all struggle with dual personality or something. That is not being a Christian, it is being a hypocrite.
If our heart is not in the right place, we will not see God’s word the way Jesus does. We do not act on what we learn and read from the Lord because we do not believe it and/or we reject it. If we approach the Bible with the intent of just reading it, there is nothing that we will get out of it. However, when our mentality and heart are of God, meaning when we come to God with a thirst that is not of this world, God will bless us as the book of James states.
What area do you struggle? Marianna shared that she struggles with being in the word. I (Amanda) struggle with comparison but in the past struggled with addiction. Those things don’t define us, unless we let them. It’s time to let go and leave it at the cross! As always, we love hearing from you. ❤