Moved, But Not Changed
“But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves. For if any be a hearer of the word, and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a glass: For he beholdeth himself, and goeth his way, and straightway forgetteth what manner of man he was. But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed.” James 1:22-25
I have been in a lot of preaching services where I have been exposed to the Word of God. I have been emotionally and spiritually moved in many of those services, but sometimes it has not always led to true and sustained change. I had every intention to change my heart and actions, but it seems change always starts tomorrow.
I used to work with my cousin and carpooled with her every day. She would pick me up early in the morning for our 20 minute ride into work. We would talk the whole time, primarily to keep from falling asleep along the way. My cousin would share with me stories about her marriage, and I would always try to give advice. I would agree with her frustrations and tell her a game plan of what she needed to do. I would say things against her husband as she vented, and I would be disgusted with his behavior.
The months went by and I was still playing Dr. Phil and offering candid advice to my cousin. One particular morning I had gotten into a huge fight with my wife, and I was venting my frustration to my cousin. I was not happy with the situation, and I was looking for someone to agree with me that I was right. I have learned that if you ask enough people, you will eventually have someone agree with you. I finally finished ranting and raving about Rebekah and then the light bulb came on in my head.
My light bulb moment came as I began to listen to my own words and compare them to what my cousin usually shared. I suddenly realized that I was the same as my cousin's spouse. The person I detested was me. I was the jerk and I was the one I really hated. It was as if a helicopter flew overhead and shone a spotlight on me. The man in the helicopter spoke into the megaphone and exclaimed, “Thou art the man!” I paused as a man not willing to admit fault, but there was no way around it. I was wrong and guilty before my God and all of mankind. I had failed to see myself for years and it was as if God opened my eyes to show me the wickedness of my very own heart. He had been speaking to me all along and I had listened, but as a hearer only. I wanted to be a better husband but it was much easier pointing out the faults of others like my cousin's husband instead of dealing with my own rottenness. I called Rebekah and made things right, and I often remind myself of that moment so I don’t forget what manner of man I really am.
Do you often forget who you are? Do you try to hide in the shadow of others and criticize those who are exactly like you? It has been said that no one will give you heartache and problems more than ourselves. We fail to see ourselves as we are, and we fail to see us as God sees us. We feel fine but the blood test shows areas in which we are failing. God always look at the heart, and He is always aware of our spiritual state. He does not value lip service, but He does value obedience.
Where are you today? Are you a hearer only or are you doer of the Word of God? Do your actions reveal that you are a doer of the Word? Are you asking God to examine you or do you walk briskly past the spiritual mirror? What is it in your life that you need to change? What sin are you holding onto that He has spoken to you about, and you listen, but you don’t make any change? Do you want to be blessed of God? Do you want to make an eternal impact? May we doers of His Word and may we please Him with our actions. May we always judge ourselves by God’s measuring stick and not by comparing ourselves to others. God is speaking today, so will you listen and obey?
Stay in the fight! Saso