Sunday, August 9, 2009

Make A Difference - James 1:22

But prove yourselves doers of the word and not merely hearers who delude themselves. James 1:22

The end of a relationship with Jesus Christ is that we are doers. There is a difference between someone who remodels his kitchen and someone who remodels kitchens for a living. There is a difference between someone who plays guitar and a musician; or someone who volunteers and a volunteer. The difference is commitment. James challenges us to be a doer. We're to be professional in our doing.

Think back to the best leaders you've known. I'd bet one thing they had in common is that they weren't afraid to do what they said. They were people who had integrity. Integrity is the most common response to the question, "What do you want in a leader." Integrity means less that your leaders are honest, but more that they are true, pure. Their message was consistent with their beliefs. When we say someone has integrity, we are saying that they are what they claim to be. Integrity is the opposite of hypocrisy. The original Greek word for hypocrite meant an actor or one who wore a mask. Anyone who appears different than they truly are is a hypocrite. They're acting. If the best leaders in your memory were actors, you haven't had a good leader. Great leaders are what they represent. They live the life they call others to. Followers of Jesus are to do what they claim to believe.

Another problem with integrity in leadership is that it spills over from the professional life to the personal life. If you tell the truth to your teammates, but you lie to the government about your income, are you still a liar? Do you really have integrity? If you're an honest politician but you cheat on and lie to your wife, are you not still a liar? How can you be called honest if you're not always honest? If you lead a team and preach commitment to your company, do you bad-mouth your superiors? Would you be surprised to know that I have? We all have fallen in some way or degree. You can't achieve perfection in your integrity, but as a fellow member of the human race, your friends and teammates ask that you pursue integrity and that you're closer than they are. It's hard to lead someone to integrity if you're not on the same road.

Finally, we can't just do anything. We must use judgment and discrimination because we're called to do "the word." Our profession as followers of Jesus is to be full time doers of the Bible! "Wait a minute!" you say. "We can't be accountable for everything in the Bible! That's impossible!" And, you'd be right. No one would ever do anything if they had to become an expert on the Bible before they started. In Romans 3:23, the Bible itself says, "all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God." We fall short, but that's no excuse. We can't wait until all the lights are green before we leave the house. Becoming a full-time doer of the word is a process. Just like any profession or vocation, we have to start. Doctors practice medicine and lawyers practice law. Just as integrity is a pursuit, knowledge of Jesus and the Bible is a pursuit. Once we believe that Jesus is who he claimed to be, we begin the pursuit of knowing Him and glorifying Him. Once you believe Jesus is the way, the truth and the life as John 14:6 says, then you can truly begin to study for the tests that life will bring your way.

Today, ask God to make you a doer of the word. Take a few minutes more than usual and learn the Bible. Take a few minutes more than usual to talk with Jesus and ask for direction. But be careful, if you get an idea that lines up with the teaching you know to be true, you probably need to take action. How else will you be able to call yourself a doer?

As you pray, ask God to show you where you can do something different today.

What thoughts came to your mind?

Do they line up with scripture and what you know to be right? *

If it did, what are you waiting for. Go and be a doer of the Word today. The word of God is your new job. Do it like you mean it. You get to work on your career and the rewards are eternal! Think about it. Then, get to work.

*If you're not sure, check with your pastor or send me a note. I don't have all the answers but I may be able to help. Or I definitely will help you find a friend who can walk with you as you work on your career in Christ.

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