August 31

James 1:22-27

“But be doers of the word, and not merely hearers who deceive themselves.” vs. 22

Surveys in recent years have shown that many people regularly associate the word “Christian” with the word “hypocrite.” Reasons for such an association might vary but it’s certainly not something for Christians to be proud of. Some might say this has happened because the popular culture is at war with our faith and has plotted to ruin its reputation. Others believe the association has been well earned, that Christians often behave in ways that are contradictory to the basic teachings of Jesus. To put it simply, we haven’t been walking the talk! James was aware of such things way back at the beginning and forcefully addresses the issue in his epistle. In his estimation too many people were getting caught up in the fine points of doctrine and religion and were failing to show compassion and generous love. What we often forget is that people notice such things! When they see self-professed Christians acting in pompous and condescending ways they’re turned off to the faith. They know perfectly well that Jesus was a humble servant, one who gladly gave his life for the broken and needy. When his followers seem to be serving only their own selfish needs their witness becomes a joke…they are hearers who have badly deceived themselves. The world knows integrity when it sees it…when it’s absent it is not impressed!

Thought for the Day: Why don’t Christians practice what they preach?

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