Bible Reading: James 1:19-25
Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. James 1:22, NIV
YOU’RE ON VACATION with your parents. You wanted to go on a two-week tour of the best amusement parks in the world, but your mom and dad overruled you. You’re going to the International Jukebox Museum instead.
You’ve been in the car with your parents and your little sister for four days, and if she sings “If You’re Happy and You Know It” one more time, you’ll knock yourself unconscious against the window. Your dad has stopped the car only once in those four days, announcing as you poured yourself out of the car, “We leave in three minutes.” Lately, however, you’ve noticed that the scenery seems to be repeating itself.
“Are we lost?” you ask.
“No,” Dad says in a voice of exasperation. “We’re almost there.”
“Daddy, I have to go to the bathroom,” your little sister says.
“Why don’t you just ask for directions?” your mom suggests.
“I don’t need directions. I know where I’m going.”
“That must explain,” your mom says, pointing out the window, “why we’ve passed that little park four times now.”
“All right, all right,” your dad finally says. He jerks the car into a gas station and asks the attendant for directions to the International Jukebox Museum.
“Right at the light,” the man answers, popping his chewing gum in his cheek. “Two miles, hang a left at the bottling company. The next left is Jukebox Way.” Your dad thanks the man, pulls out of the service station, and turns left at the next light.
“Dear,” your mom says, “the man said to turn right at the light.”
“But you turned left. “You’re going the wrong way,” Mom says.
“No,” your dad answers, “I’ll still get there. I’ll just go my own way.”
You slump back in your seat. Your sister starts singing again. You eye the window, wondering how hard you’d have to hit your head to knock yourself unconscious.
That’s pretty unrealistic, isn’t it? No one would get directions from someone who knows the way and then choose to ignore them.
But we do that all the time. God has given us directions—lots of them! He has told us, point blank, how to live a holy and joyful life. Yet we often choose to go our own way rather than follow directions from someone who knows the way. It’s not enough to know right from wrong; you must also choose right or your knowledge is useless.
REFLECT: When was the last time you knew the right thing but did the wrong thing anyway? What made you choose wrong? How can you choose differently the next time?
PRAY: “Lord, help me not merely to listen to your Word but to do what it says.”