"But prove yourselves doers of the word, and not merely hearers who delude themselves. For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks at his natural face in a mirror; for once he has looked at himself and gone away, he has immediately forgotten what kind of person he was. But one who looks intently at the perfect law, the law of liberty, and abides by it, not having become a forgetful hearer but an effectual doer, this man will be blessed in what he does," (James 1:22--25).
* As he admonishes his readers, and us, to be responsive to the Word, James first makes and then illustrates his point. He states first that we deceive ourselves if we think listening to the Word is the end of our responsibility. He illustrates this truth through the picture of a man glancing at his mirrored face and then forgetting about it. Rather, we are to look intently at God's Word with a response of readiness.
* To remain a hearer of the Word and not a doer is to deceive one's self. Rather than being an end to itself, listening to the Word is to be only the beginning of ongoing obedience. The Lord's blessing is promised only to the one who diligently searches the Word with the intent to obey.
* As throughout his letter, James is here concerned with the need of believers to move from being informed by the Word, to being inflamed by it. Merely glancing through the Truth, with no intention of obeying it, is self-deception.
Rather than enjoying the blessing here promised, too often we sit, soak, and sour.