“Be doers of the Word…not merely hearers.” (James 1:22)
With thanks to “The Word for You Today:”
A businessman known for his ruthlessness, arrogance and religiosity told Mark Twain that before he died, he intended to visit the Holy Land, climb Mount Sinai, and read the Ten Commandments aloud. “I have a better idea,” Twain replied. “Just stay here in Boston and keep them.”
Most of us would rather think about what we don’t know than act on what we do know. The growth in the internet, 24-hour television and mobile phones means that we now receive five times as much information every day as we did in 1986. But that pales into insignificance compared with the growth in the amount of information we churn out through email, twitter, social networking sites and text messages. It’s been said that until 1900 human knowledge doubled approximately every century. By the end of World War II knowledge was doubling every 25 years. Today on average, human knowledge is doubling every 13 months. According to IBM, the build out of the “internet of things” will lead to the doubling of knowledge every 12 hours.
That’s too incredible to even imagine. So, our problem isn’t a lack of information. It’s knowing too much and doing too little. Here’s an everyday example: People would rather debate the merits of proteins vs. carbs, French cooking vs. vegetarian, lifting weights vs. cardio, than change how they eat. The bottom line is simple: Expend more calories than you take in.
In the same way, some people would rather debate church doctrine than simply do what the Bible says. Instead of reading and talking about the idea of living a “good” life, practice loving a difficult person; try forgiving someone; give some money away; stop and say thanks; encourage a friend; bless and enemy; when you’re wrong, say, “I’m sorry.” Face it: You already know more than you’re ever going to use. And nothing turns people off faster than someone with a head full of knowledge, who lacks grace and character. It’s the same today as it was when James wrote, “Be doers of the Word and not merely hearers.”