Imagine walking into your classroom on a Monday morning and your teacher asking you to hand in the report she assigned over the weekend. “I didn’t do it,” you tell her. She might ask, “Well did you know the report was due?”
If you tell her you knew about the homework but simply chose not to do it, do you think she would say, “That’s ok; as long as you heard me give the assignment then I don’t care that you didn’t complete it”? Obviously, hearing the assignment is only half the battle. We need to do the assignment to get credit for it.
The same illustration could be made when it comes to obeying parents or taking orders from an employer. Hearing the instruction is good, but accomplishing it is the goal.
The same is true when it comes to the Bible. James 1:22 tells believers to “be doers of the word, and not hearers only.” Naturally, hearing the word is still an important part of the process.
When you sit under the teaching of your pastor, do you pay attention, or do you text, plan lunch, think about your fantasy football lineup, or snicker about Betty Lou’s hat? We have to be hearers of the word, and that applies to the written word as well. Do you read your Bible with comprehension, or do your eyes read words off a page while your mind wanders, while still allowing you to check the block next to “devotions?”
Hearing is good, but are you also a doer? Do you follow through with what you heard? Do you practice what the pastor preached?
Verses that tell us to be honest, trustworthy, loving, forgiving, kind, compassionate, gentle, pure, and faithful are all good to know, but they also need to be obeyed.
Finally, if you are not a Christian, then there is something that you may have heard but not done. You need to depend on Jesus alone for your salvation.
Imagine standing before Jesus on the day of judgment, knowing you never trusted in Him as your Lord. “But I heard the message about salvation” won’t cut it. You’ve got to be more than just a hearer. You have to be a doer.