"But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves.
For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer,
he is like a man who looks intently at his natural face
in a mirror. For he looks at himself and goes away
and at once forgets what he was like.
But the one who looks into the perfect law, the law of liberty,
and perseveres, being no hearer who forgets
but a doer who acts, he will be blessed in his doing."
I love to study the Bible, to learn and know what it says, to dig deeply into the things of God. But how much do I love being a doer of the Word? As I have spent the past few weeks reading and re-reading James 1 concerning proper response to trials and temptation and anger, I have learned something about myself. I find it much easier to be a hearer of the Word than a doer. Much easier. I look in the mirror of God's Word all too often, forgetting what I look like as soon as I leave it.
A "trial of various kinds" has arisen this week. Leave it to the Lord to test my faith while I'm studying James 1! He is a faithful God who allows us the privilege of proving our faith. Two days ago we were informed that the house that we rent out (because the economy is too weak for us to sell it) has a leak in the kitchen--apparently a big leak that has been going on for awhile. Then we were informed that the renter has decided that it is not good for her health, that she wants to be released from her lease, and that she wants to move over a thousand miles away. And then the insurance company informed us that the insurance that we have been paying may not cover it.
My first response? "Count it all joy, Gloria, when you meet trials of various kinds." Don't get too excited yet about my great spiritual strength. Unfortunately, my first response was yes, to think about that passage and then to immediately lose my appetite, become discouraged, and begin to wonder how in the world we would pay for this if the insurance doesn't. I became angry with the renter, whose actions have not endeared us to her anyway. Then I went to the Lord with it. I came upstairs, read James 1 again, went back and read my blog posts of late (hoping that I didn't sound too spiritual in them and have to eat crow), and spent time confessing my sin of failing to obey immediately. I like the hearing of the Word; getting my hands dirty is the hard part.
God is faithful. He gave me the peace that passes understanding. He assured me, through His perfect law of liberty, that this is for my good and His glory.
Today I must go to the house, an hour away, and meet with the adjuster. Today is another day, and I must determine in advance that I am going to be a doer of the Word, getting my hands dirty, and not just a hearer, deceiving myself.
I would appreciate your prayers.