“But be doers of the word and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves.”
– James 1:22
In the world of sport, thinking too highly of yourself is a dangerous road to travel. It’s an easy trap for athletes and teams to fall into. The media and fans often go over the top in their efforts to build up a particular game, player or team. How often do we hear phrases like, “This will be the game of the century,” “He’s the best to ever play the game,” or “They’re the best team of all time?” We would agree that this kind of billing is hard to live up to, and flops in the world of sport are common. Coaches spend a great deal of time warning their players to be careful in reading their press clippings or paying too much attention to social media. Coaches too can get caught up in the hype. We can hear something so much that we start to believe it ourselves and forget to put in the work required to be successful. It’s so easy to deceive ourselves, and the consequences aren’t pretty.
James, the half-brother of Jesus, does not sugarcoat the issue. He is talking about the same principle but with much higher stakes. James believed the Scriptures could save us. He saw the Bible as an instrument of God that could not only help us gain eternal life but also save us a great deal of grief in this life. Like the wise coach, James warns that it’s not enough to simply hear the words of Scripture, we must obey them and live them out. We must be willing to put in the hard work so that the Word becomes flesh in our lives. Someone once said, “Impression without expression leads to depression.” Bottom line, it’s not about what others say or what you know, it’s about putting in the work.
Father God, thank You for Your holy Word. Help me to take it from my ears to my heart so I can live it out each day. Deliver me from the hype of this world. Amen.