Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. (James 1:22)

ANY PARENT WHO HAS RAISED young children knows that we must repeat ourselves, over and over. Kids will look you straight in the eye, hear your instruction, then within two minutes completely forget what they were told.

When my oldest son was about six years old and finally at the age to do some of his bedtime routine on his own, he was told to put on his pj’s, brush his teeth, use the potty, and get in bed. Some fifteen minutes later I found him playing with building blocks on his bedroom floor, still not in pj’s, teeth not brushed, and no trip to the bathroom. When I asked him what he was told to do, he replied simply “Get in my room for bedtime.” I couldn’t help but walk out of his room to allow myself a brief chuckle before guiding him through the familiar process. He listened, but he didn’t act.

How often are we just like this in our walk of faith? We know what the Word planted in us instructs us to do. Yet, left to our own devices, we easily forget. Without a constant guide, we are horrible listeners. We fool ourselves into thinking we know how to follow Jesus because we’ve heard what to do. Our downfall comes when we simply do not do what we know.

Put something you know about following Jesus into action today.

Brian Niece is a former pastor who is now pursuing a PhD, writing, spending time with his wife and three kids, and watching way too much football.

© 2018 Wesleyan Publishing House. Reprinted from Light from the Word. Used by permission.