Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says (James 1:22).
The book of James is full of in-your-face verses. James wasn’t going to waste time with fluff as he wrote to believers, not during the first century when the Church was being persecuted, and believers were being put to death for their faith.
In chapter 1 James dives in deep to remind us that it isn’t enough to just say what we believe, we need to put our hands and feet into it. Our words are great, but as my husband would say, “Show me– don’t tell me.”
As believers, we are called to act, to love, to tell yes, but to show, to live-out-loud the Love and Grace offered by the God of the Universe.
We accept Christ into our own lives, then we listen to His direction to know where we are to go out into the world (Matthew 28:19-20). Then we act on that direction- love and serving others the way He did (Philippians 2:4-7). Then we listen some more for clarity and potential new opportunities to love and act in the lives others (1 Peter 4:10).
So, to paraphrase Sinatra, we do (act)-be (listen)-do (act)-be (listen)-do (act).” Our relationship with God may be heard by our words, but it will always be remembered by our actions.