For several years, I was (and still can be) a hypocrite. I could read, study, talk about, and even teach the Word of God—thinking I was living out what I professed—while all the time I was actually living as a hypocrite.
How does that happen?
How can we be immersed in the Word, but unaffected by it?
The Pharisees were. They knew the law inside and out, but their hearts weren’t affected. They condemned others while their outward religious activity completely missed the point of true religion. And Jesus called them hypocrites. Hypocrites talk a good talk without receiving the Word to deal with deep heart issues.
Hypocrites have a big head full of knowledge but a small heart.
As a young pastor’s wife, I knew the Word, would’ve said I was a woman of the Word—but I was not actually applying the hard truths of the Word to my daily life. I wasn’t allowing the conviction from the Spirit to penetrate my heart, but would read the Words of Scripture with the same dullness as if I was reading the morning newspaper.
There was no growth, no impact on my daily life, and I was shriveling up as a believer. In fact, I was harming others with my hypocrisy (click here to see that video confession).
James is all about becoming a “doer of the Word” or actually applying God’s Word to our daily lives and being transformed by it. He gives us these instructions:
“Therefore put away all filthiness and rampant wickedness and receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls.
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.” (James 1:21–25)
The key to being transformed by God’s Word, rather than just getting head knowledge of the Word and living as a hypocrite, is found in two phrases that are connected: “receive with meekness the implanted word” and the phrase: “looks intently into.” These phrases are positional statements—they describe the position of a heart that is humble and receptive.
That’s what I’m explaining in the video below. This a short excerpt from the James study that we’ve been doing at our church. I hope it encourages you today, to become a woman of the Word. (And as you watch, please give me grace, I’m living in a state of sleep deprivation these days!)
How do you approach the Word?