As a child, this phrase was very common in my household. It was always easier to pretend not to hear a thing and not have to do it, than hear it and have to do what I know I heard my parents say.
“Clean up that room”!
“Wash those dishes”!
“What are you doing in there” ?
“Hurry up, we’ve gotta’ go”!
“Did you wash your hands”?
All were very simple questions or commands, but when I was doing what I wanted to do, hearing what they wanted me to do required something more of me!
When I eventually responded to my parents, it was always, “huh”, or “what did you say”? Upon which, my mom or dad would always respond, “do what you heard”. They seldom repeated themselves because most of the time, I heard them the first time.
Aren’t we as believers the same way? Acting as if we don’t know what we heard Him say? Most of the time, we heard Him the first time.
Helen Keller , a well known American author, political activist and lecturer, was both blind and deaf. She has been quoted saying…
“…after a lifetime in silence and darkness that to be deaf is a greater affliction than to be blind… Hearing is the soul of knowledge and information of a high order. To be cut off from hearing is to be isolated indeed.” Helen Keller
Hearing is one of the most necessary senses that we could possibly have as human beings . But when one has a hearing loss, they are cut off.
Blindness separates people from things; deafness separates people from people.” Helen Keller
Hearing loss is an invisible condition; we cannot see hearing loss, only its effects. Because the presence of a hearing loss is not visible, these effects may be attributed to aloofness, confusion, or personality changes.
So it can only be assumed that when one doesn’t do what they heard, it was because they didn’t hear it. Could it be that we have seen the effects of “hearing loss” in the body of Christ? Confusion? Aloofness? Personality Changes? Perhaps! We gather on Sundays, but immediately forget and can’t apply what we heard on Monday! Is it deafness or selective “hearing loss”? I wonder.
Don’t fool yourself into thinking that you are a listener when you are anything but, letting the Word go in one ear and out the other. Act on what you hear! Those who hear and don’t act are like those who glance in the mirror, walk away, and two minutes later have no idea who they are, what they look like. James 1:22-24
Before the writer talks about being a hearer , he opens the chapter from the perspective of the character of man. From the very beginning he is talking about a tried faith.. He tells us that we ought to count it all joy… when you fall into divers(various) temptations.
What is a tried faith? For some of us within the last thirty days our faith has been tried? For others, the last thirty minutes! Has your faith been on the auction block lately?
A tried faith, is when you know what the word of God says about a thing…you understand what the Word of God says about a thing, and then circumstances of life come…. In other words, Monday came. Your tried faith causes you to put what you heard into action ! Your faith becomes tried, when what you do does not come into alignment with what you heard. And what you heard doesn’t seem to be applying to you! Your faith is being tried!
When your faith is tried… the real you comes out! Real character comes out! James is speaking to that person. He speaks about faith and not wavering. He speaks about double mindedness and temptation, being drawn away and lust.
And then it says….But.. be ye doers… That just means YOU be a doer …
It’s something about being a doer that weeds out the masses of people in any line of work, or in any ministry . There are always going to be those that will “talk about it” and then those that will “be about it”.
The chapter begins with count it all joy…when you fall into divers temptations… knowing this… That the trying of your faith worketh patience…
So then, there is something in me, that when I am drawn away, when I am tempted stirs up an impatience within me, that doesn’t allow God to do what he has to in me. Patience has to be perfected. And perfection is only complete when that which is in me can be worked out!!!
Being a hearer and NOT a doer yields to self deception! You walk around removing yourself from what you heard thinking that it doesn’t apply to you. The word of God will always apply.
Being a hearer and not a doer is likened to a person looking at himself in the mirror, walking away and forgetting what he looks like.
Do what you heard!
If the word of God says love your neighbor … Love your neighbor
If the word of says don’t waiver.. Don’t waiver !
If the word of God says don’t commit adultery, don’t commit adultery.
If the word of God says be angry and sin not, don’t sin!
Do what you heard! When we do what we heard, God gets the glory,your work is blessed and God’s people are edified.
Jesus, our Savior and Redeemer, came, bled , suffered and died in order that that which needs to be worked out in us, can be seen through his eyes and ultimately as a reflection of Him.
Jesus is the ultimate reflection ! Do what you heard ! After all, Monday is still coming!