We are in for another honesty check today. Mona Gregory, friend, teacher, trainer, mentor of many….she guest posts today about being gut-level real with God. I’m so convicted by this word myself and know that she will speak to your heart as well. Lace up your spiritual sneakers and get ready to race into reality.
Returning to the hospital for their two-week old baby’s shots, tension was high. Meg was a user and very irritated. The screams of the newborn compounded her frustration.
By the time Meg and her husband reached the elevator, Meg was in a full-on rant. As the elevator closed, Tom, heart racing, chest tight, lump in his throat, dropped to his knees. Meg’s banter increased in volume as the elevator descended.
When the doors opened on the ground floor, spectators saw Tom on his knees, arms stretched to the sky, face lifted, pleading with His Heavenly Father for help. The doors closed and opened, closed and opened….until the family of three calmly exited.
James 1:22 says, “Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.” (NIV)
Believers are hearing the word.
Believers (that’s us, followers of Christ) are not doing what the word says.
Believers are deceiving themselves.
What are the implications here? What is James saying to us?
In deceiving ourselves, we accept sin, specifically our sin to which we can grow comfortable.
We might even choose where we go to church or our friendships by the sin we’ve accepted as we overlook these same sins in others.
This is a problem.
We don’t think we are NOT acting upon God’s word. We don’t think we are doing anything wrong.
Yet, James tells us that we are deceived!
We have deceived ourselves into thinking that hearing God’s word is the same as believing God’s word. We need to be reminded! The battle to endure doesn’t get easier.
Thinking we are “ok” is huge.
But this is also the scary part. Seeing ourselves as “ok” distorts our view of God.
And that is sin.
- that we ignore
- that we pass over
- that we let the pastor preach about and we simply choose to forget
- that we aren’t honest with God about….
But it’s forgotten.
His word has then become something that “sounds good”. It’s applicable for someone else, but is impossible for our own lives.
We hear God’s word, but don’t live it.
And somehow we still think we are all good.
When we read Tom’s story we might say that he had every right to do something else. But he didn’t do something else; he simply submitted to the One who knows our every struggle, our every pain, our every fear. Tom was a doer of the word.
“Lord, open our eyes to unrealized sin. Help us. Help us to read the Word not to say we did it, but to feast on it, to believe it, to meditate on it. May the truths of Your Word penetrate our hearts, transform our minds, and guide our words and actions.
Oh Father, who are we kidding when we are not honest with you? You know everything about us and love us anyway. Oh that we would trust You!
Remind us and help us to remember Your truths, help us to hunger more for Your Word, give us humble hearts to admit our cover-ups. When James talks about widows and orphans or not controlling our tongue, help us not to skip over it, but give us more of a reason to run to You.”