“Listening Is Not Enough”
By Zach Wood
“Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like a man who looks at his face in a mirror and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like. But the man who looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues to do this, not forgetting what he has heard, but doing it—he will be blessed in what he does.”
Being a parent has been one of the most challenging things for me to deal with over the past eight years. I absolutely love being a dad, but as any parent would claim and admit to, it has its very frustrating and challenging times. No parent can escape this. While we love our kids and would do anything for them, there are very challenging times, especially when they don’t listen. It creates frustration to try to do the best parenting and not say or do something we will regret later.
No matter how many times I have issues with my kids not listening, God always uses those situations to remind me that I often struggle with listening. There are so many times I have problems listening to Him. When I notice how my kids don’t listen, it’s often a great reminder God uses to show me how I don’t listen to Him often. It’s painful to realize this, but this pain often helps me to grow and to be reminded how I need to listen to Him more.
However, listening is only part of the battle. Listening is great and we all need to be better and improve on this area in our lives, but it’s only part of what we need to do. After we listen, then we need to do what we’re told to do. We cannot just do things halfway and think we’ve done well. Again, while listening is great and understanding what we’ve heard is wonderful, then we need to put into practice what we’ve heard.
I appreciate how James explains that listening and not doing is pretty much worthless. If all we do is listen and not put anything we’ve heard into practice, it’s about as useless as looking into a mirror and then forgetting what we look like. God gives us commands and instructions for us to obey and put into practice. If we don’t, we are not being obedient to Him. We must break this “halfway” problem and do more than just listen. We must do what we’ve been told to do.
Just as we want our kids to do more than listen to us, we also must listen and do what God has told us to do.