Formula for Personal Growth

It’s not enough to hear God’s Word—we must apply it in our life.

James 1:19-25

The difference between hearing and doing seems fairly obvious, and yet many people fail to recognize the distinction—or the fact that the two should be more closely related. Take the parent-child relationship, for example. Moms and dads give directions and expect their children to follow through with action. We all know, however, that such instructions are often unheard or disregarded.

Think about how that applies to what our heavenly Father tells His children. He has given us His Word not just to hear but to obey. Yet how often do we hear the proper instructions or warnings but fail to do what Scripture says? In some instances, it’s a matter of not caring enough to obey; at other times our own interests lead us away from God’s commands and toward our own desires.

Do you merely hear the Word, or do you also do what it says? (See James 1:22.) The danger is that in failing to apply God’s words of wisdom, we can easily be led into all sorts of foolish pursuits. Isaiah 53:6 warns that our natural tendency is to turn to our own way and go astray like lost sheep. That’s why it’s essential to listen and obey our Good Shepherd as He guides us with His Word.