James 1:22 Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.
Year ago, back when I was surviving as an insurance salesman, I made a significant sale to a small business twice – at least I thought I had. I remember how excited I was because at the time it was my biggest sale – which meant it was also my biggest commission. You can imagine my disappointment when their payment check bounced! I went back to see them again. They apologized; gave me another check and it bounced too. I never did complete a sale with them.
Prior to that, I would say I knew I had a sale when a customer gave me a check. That was forever changed in my mind to I knew I had a sale when the check cleared. The check was a promise of something real. It’s the money in the bank that gave value to the check. If there isn’t adequate money in the bank, the check bounces.
One of the problems that has always confronted Christians is having their lives back up what they say when they verbalize the Gospel. Words are a whole lot easier to express than the Godly lives that give the words credibility. There’s an old expression that describes this “Talking the talk and walking the walk”. There is such power when the testimony of following Jesus is backed up by lives that reflect His glory.
Putting this in the context of my sales experience, the Godly reality of our lives is the money in the bank that gives value to the check – the testimony we give about Jesus and our faith. If we have inadequate reality of Him in our lives – the check bounces. This isn’t about walking in perfection but about there being ample evidence of us being a Godly work in progress.
Being a doer of the Word affects everything in our lives – our thoughts, attitudes, words, actions, responses, beliefs – our hopes, our fears – everything. This impacts what we say; how we say it and how we are perceived. There is such joy and confidence that come with being a doer of the Word – having lives that truly give witness to the Lord we serve. Remember, this is something we get to do!