Modern day Christians have mastered the art of hearing.
We live in a time when we have more access to hearing the truth of the Bible than any other time in history. Beyond the typical Sunday sermon, we have Bible studies, small groups, conferences and seminars. Add to these online sermons, television sermons, books, blogs, podcast and smart phone apps.
Let me be clear, I am not against any of these things. To the contrary, I am a proponent. I personally utilize them and encourage others to do the same.
My concern is this, many Christians have confused the good act of hearing with the better priority of doing.
James warned us against this when he said, “be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves.” (James 1:22)
How do we deceive ourselves? At least two ways. First, by believing that hearing is the main goal… it simply is not. Second, by thinking, “Because I am engaging with the truth of Scripture, I am growing, changing, applying… living it out.”
The truth is, there is no correlation whatsoever with the amount of our hearing and the degree of our doing. Because of this, a person can be a Bible scholar, able to quote verse and reference, understand Hebrew and Greek, and bear little resemblance to Jesus in their character and lifestyle. In fact, hearing is a great disguise for doing.
Doing is the priority. Application is the key. Life transformation is the goal.
I have said this before and it’s worth repeating. If most Christians heard nothing more from Scripture and simply started doing what they already know, they as individuals, their communities, and our world would be radically transformed. However, as long as we deceive ourselves into thinking that hearing is the objective, we will be content in our own self-deception.
What have you been prioritizing in your own life? What ideas do you have to keep “doing” as your focus?