I love watching cooking competition shows on TV. If I had to choose, I’d probably say that’s my favorite kind of TV show, which is kind of ironic because I don’t really like cooking all that much. There’s something about those shows, though: the fierce competition, the strange challenges and ingredients, the judges, the (healthy?) dose of reality TV drama—I love it.
I feel like after watching so many cooking shows, I pretty much know how to be a chef. I know how to make perfect soufflés, butcher a chicken, and flambé bananas foster over a hot stove.
However…I’ve never actually done those things.
I’m not a chef.
The proof is in the doing, and unless you count making really good boxed macaroni and cheese, there’s no evidence that points to my being a chef. As much as I’ve seen those things done and heard chefs talk about using special cooking techniques or ingredients, nothing has changed in my kitchen. My beloved cooking competition shows have not turned me into a Michelin star chef.
I think that’s kind of what James was talking about when he said, “But don’t just listen to God’s word. You must do what it says. Otherwise, you are only fooling yourselves” (James 1:22). He warns us that if we just read the Bible and don’t do what it says, we’re deceiving ourselves.
I can watch the greatest chefs talk about how to make delicious meals, but unless I actually follow their directions, my family’s still eating chicken and canned green beans. To think that I’m a chef because of watching those shows would be deceiving myself.
To think that I’m doing everything God wants me to do just because I read the Bible is deceiving myself. I have to obey what it says—all of it! There are a lot of people who know a lot about God and a lot about the Bible and a lot about a lot of things…and they aren’t saved. They aren’t living the life and experiencing the things God has for them.
Don’t let that be you! Obey the Bible, listen to and follow God’s voice, let your life be led by the Holy Spirit.
Let’s not merely be hearers of the Word; let’s be doers!