Try to Remember

By: Tim Grissom
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 1:22–25
We’ve all known people who had an above average knowledge of Scripture that, sadly, didn’t appear to be much affected by it. They’re often critical, impatient, and boastful—all while being well-versed in what the Bible has to say about … being critical, impatient, and boastful.

I suppose that’s why James’ mirror analogy stings so much. I definitely see reflections of myself in that description—a guy that could quote Scripture and still not have much to show for it.

It’s a warning to us all, isn’t it? The desire to study the Bible is not necessarily a desire to grow in righteousness. We can want to know without wanting to be.

Personally, I love studying the Scriptures. I love teaching them. But, I don’t always love doing them (see Ezra 7:10). That doesn’t mean that I should put my Bible reading and studying on pause until I get my motives in order, it means I need to “persevere “as James puts it.

Interesting word, persevere. It highlights the connection between enduring obedience and deepening knowledge. When we act on what God’s Word says, we take the posture of one who will continue to learn and grow.

The one thing we must never do with the Word of God is forget it.

How many times have I read something in the Bible (or in a book, or heard a sermon or a podcast) and thought, This is good, I need to remember it. I’ll even say a quick prayer, asking God to help me remember it. But then I’ll get on with my day. And forget. What was fresh on my mind—and my heart—in the AM is hardly a thought in the PM. Because I forgot, because I didn’t do.

There aren’t enough highlighters, notebooks, apps, or study methods that can do for me what simple obedience can … It’s the doing that keeps me from forgetting.
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