By Kori Bailey
Have you ever told your child to do something and they completely disregard your instructions? If you have kids, you’re probably thinking, “Duh!!!”. Yes, this is life with small children.
My 2-year-old is a good eater. She will eat almost anything I put in front of her. But when the plate hits the placemat, she completely ignores her fork and immediately dives in with her little hands. “Abigail, use your fork!” is on constant repeat at mealtime. She hears us, but chooses to use her hands right now because it’s easier. When it comes to mealtime, my daughter is a forgetful hearer. I look forward to the day when it doesn’t take an entire package of wipes to clean the thick layer of sweet potatoes off of her hands.
James 1:22 says, “But prove yourselves doers of the word, and not merely hearers who delude themselves.”
On my journey with Jesus, I have learned that hearing is only half of the equation. I listen to gifted pastors and teachers. I talk to friends and family about Jesus, and attend bible studies. All of these things are good, and I will continue to do them, but if I stop there the equation is incomplete. It may seem like I am doing something, but unless I’m acting on His words, I am merely hearing. Jesus is so brilliantly active on earth and He calls us to join Him in the action.
We might be listening to what Jesus said, but are we doing what Jesus did?
Jesus did not intend for us to play a passive role in his kingdom. He did not intend for us to be spectators on Sundays or take in information about Him only to let it float around in our minds and regurgitate it to impress others or take a moral stance. Hearing without doing is like wearing workout clothes, but never working out. (Guilty!)
James 1:25 says, “But one who looks intently at the perfect law, the law of liberty, and abides by it, not becoming a forgetful hearer but an effectual doer, this man will be blessed in what he does.”
Another word for abide is obey, conform to, to act in accordance with. When we abide in Jesus, we are conforming into His image. And as we conform into His image, we become effective doers. We become productive, useful, valuable disciples in the kingdom of God.
When we listen to His words, we have to do more than simply nod our heads in agreement. If we are called to do what Jesus did, then we need to pick up our forks and dig in.
Here are some practical ways to be a doer:
-Discipline your body to wake up early to study Jesus’ words.
-Practice hospitality by cooking a meal once a month for your friends.
-Memorize scripture with your kids.
-Practice giving thanks throughout your day.
-Give to someone in need, without recognition.
-Set aside time for solitude to be alone with Jesus.
In Mathew 7:24, Jesus says, “Therefore everyone who hears these words of Mine and ACTS on them, may be compared to a wise man who built his house on the rock.”
God has given us instructions, just like we give our children. I don’t want to be a forgetful hearer who disregards His commands.
Meet Kori Bailey
Let me introduce you to my good friend, Kori Bailey. Kori and her hubby, Jon, have two kids and live North of Dallas. You will quickly learn that Kori is gifted with words and she is a deep well. I wish everyone could have a friend like her. Kori has courage to challenge the norm, she is an example of hospitality, understands my love of sweets and peppermint bark (it takes one to know one), and is one of the most intentional and disciplined friends I know. Kori is passionate about knowing Jesus, focusing her life on simplicity, and is a natural leader. I have learned and been inspired by Kori and I pray that you will be as well. Take a moment and allow the Lord to prompt your spirit into action. - Jamie