Don’t just read it, do it (1)
It can be easy to get caught up in gaining Christian knowledge. We read the Bible, read lots of Christian books advising us on all areas of our lives, study theology, listen to sermons…and that’s all great. But it’s only great if we’re putting that knowledge into action in our lives. We need to practise loving a difficult person; try forgiving someone; give some of our money away; stop and say thanks; worship God; encourage a friend; bless an enemy; apologise when it’s needed. There are loads of things we know we should be doing, but aren’t actually putting into practice in our lives. But James wrote: ‘Be doers of the word, and not merely hearers.’ And the Bible also says: ‘Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me – put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you’ (Philippians 4:9 NIV). Learning about God’s character and attitude is so important because then we know how our character should be too. We can make changes in our lives that ensure our character is becoming more Christlike. If we have all the knowledge but refuse to make changes and live by what we know is right, then our knowledge isn’t much use. There can be many reasons why making changes can be challenging. Changing things in our lives means we’re probably going to feel uncomfortable for a while and it’ll take some effort. It’s easier to just keep on going as we are. But the Bible says: ‘Whoever claims to live in him must live as Jesus did’ (1 John 2:6 NIV). We should be trying to be becoming more like Jesus, and live more like He did. And that involves putting what we know into practice.
What’s God already taught you that you’re not putting into practice? Make today the day you put your knowledge into action and take a step towards living it out.