The other day I was introduced to a friend’s girlfriend. He said her name. I repeated her name as I shook her had. And repeated it again. A good habit I’ve used to remember many a person’s name, but this time it slipped out of my mind almost immediately as I turned to talk to someone else. At first I attempted to blame it on getting older, but the more I thought about it the more I realized that I was preoccupied with other thoughts—even though I used my faithful, good habit for remember names….
Have you found this to be the case when reading the Word of God? Sadly, I must admit that sometimes this is so for me. As v. 24 of our main text observes, I look at the Book, but my mind is preoccupied with other concerns, issues, and, dare I say, worries. Oh, I’m reading the words—even saying them out loud sometimes, but alas, they soon slip away….
One thing I have done for years, but have gotten away from as a habit, was journaling the text I was reading. Over time it became another opportunity for ‘sermon seeds’. (Now, on one hand, this is not ‘bad,’ but this would often lead to “how I could present it to others” and not “how can I apply this to my own life.”
I have returned to journaling and pondering and engaging the text, praying to Lord Jesus to apply in my life through His Holy Spirit this particular aspect of Truth which leads to freedom (v. 25). Some times the bites are manageable; while other times they are sizable, requiring more time to process. …
What are some ‘habits’ you use so that the Word doesn’t just slip away after reading it? Your thoughts?
Main Text— James 1:22–25 (NIV84)— 22 Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. 23 Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like a man who looks at his face in a mirror 24 and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like. 25 But the man who looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues to do this, not forgetting what he has heard, but doing it—he will be blessed in what he does.
Additional Scriptures to Renew Your Thoughts
To the Jews who had believed Him, Jesus said, “If you hold to My teaching, you are really My disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”—John 8:31–32 (NIV84)
Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.”—John 14:6 (NIV84)
Sanctify them by the truth; Your word is truth.— John 17:17 (NIV84)
Lord Jesus Christ, I put You on as my Belt of Truth. May I be a Truth-bearer and not a tale-teller. Sanctify me by Your Word. Your Word is Truth. In Your Name, Amen.