The Difference Between Hearing and Doing

What’s the difference between hearing and doing? Or the difference between knowing and acting on what you know?

I LOVE making lists. One of my favorite things to do when I’m stressed out is to have a brain dump, where I write down absolutely everything that I need or want to do, then I can figure out when or how things will get done.

I love lists so much I think I’ve had a to-do list for every single day since before I graduated high school; it’s just the way I think. 

But I’ve learned that just because something is on my to-do list, it doesn’t mean it gets done.

Just peek into my planner and you’ll see that things I wanted or needed to get done get pushed to another day … or week … or month. Sometimes I get a lot on my to-do lists done, and other days life happens and my lists look pretty laughable. 

Becoming a doer … not a planner

When I consider James’ words in James 1:22-25, I think a lot about to-do lists:  

But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks intently at his natural face in a mirror. For he looks at himself and goes away and at once forgets what he was like. But the one who looks into the perfect law, the law of liberty, and perseveres, being no hearer who forgets but a doer who acts, he will be blessed in his doing. 

As James reminds us, it’s not enough to make plans to do what we learn about in the Bible. It’s not enough to have good intentions. It’s not enough to make a to-do list of biblical instruction.

We can know what we want to do. We can know what we should do.  But unless we follow through and actually act or actually do, you’ll deceive yourself. You’ll forget. 

Just like an unfinished to-do list, knowing you should do something and then not doing, for whatever reason, it is pretty meaningless.

As you read and observe the Bible, actually live out what you’ve learned. Make the leap from hearing to doing. Look into this perfect law and persevere.

Don’t just listen and forget. Act and do. 

What’s easier for you to do? Hear? Or follow through and do?

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