By Dianne Davis
“For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks at his natural face in the mirror; for once he has looked at himself and gone away, he has immediately forgotten what kind of person he was.” ~James 1:23-24
I found an old Bible study workbook on the Epistle of James; it was a study that I finished eight years ago. As I glanced through the pages and my responses to the self-reflections, I thought of some of the things I teach to a discipleship group I lead. Scripture is intended to change us, to purify us, to make us more like Jesus.
Every so often, we need to examine ourselves and ask, “Am I better today than I was a year ago, six months ago, a month ago?” If the answer is no, then we need to stop and figure out why. Are we spending time in daily personal prayer? Are we receiving the Sacraments? Are we reading Scripture? What are we doing with God’s Word? We can study and memorize Scripture and be part of a small group, but still feel stagnant, and even in bondage. The Word of God is intended to change us, but the answer isn’t primarily in just reading more, but more so, in being a “doer” of God’s Word.
What Do You See in the Mirror
If we only read Scripture and don’t act on it, St. James says it is like looking at ourselves in the mirror, and once we walk away, we forget who we are. And who are we? We are women created to bear the very image of God! James 1:25 goes on to say if we aren’t forgetful listeners to God’s Word, and if we become doers of it, we will be blessed in what we do! And what woman doesn’t want to be blessed in what she does?!
In Ezekiel 36:26-27, God says that He will put in us a new heart and His Spirit, and these will cause us to walk in His ways. As Isaiah teaches us, God’s ways are not our ways. Sometimes He will lead us to do things that may not be natural for us. Being a daughter of God means we need to listen to Him and his promptings, even if He tells us to do something that doesn’t seem natural to us.
I looked through my workbook at some of the things I felt the Lord tell me to do. These included putting my cart back in the corral at the supermarket even when it was raining, giving my brand new purse to a friend, being quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to anger (James 1:19) to evangelize outside my comfort zone.
What does the Word of God spur you to do? Do you know in your heart what God asks of you? Take a few moments to reflect, even to journal, and to listen to God.
About the author:
Dianne Davis serves as the Director of Mission Expansion for ChristLife, a Catholic ministry of evangelization and she longs to see revival in the Church. She is a conference and parish mission speaker, teacher, and co-author of Share Christ. She has been married for 30 years and has two young adult sons. On Twitter @diannedavisNY