Updated: Mar 6, 2022
You can’t peddle unapplied truth.
That’s a statement we can all agree with. It’s hard to take instruction from a personal trainer while they eat Twinkies and get winded following you around the weight room. Nobody takes financial advice from someone who is up to their eyeballs in debt. Who in Wisconsin would take seriously the winter-readiness directives from someone in Florida? You can’t peddle unapplied truth because no one is buying it.
The same is true of our spiritual lives. You can’t tell your kids to “turn the other cheek” on the playground when you live “eye for an eye” in the work place. You can’t encourage a brother or sister in Christ to “be at peace with all men” when you are currently in a fence-line struggle with your neighbor in the subdivision. Self-control can never be taught by someone who screams at the referees of their kid’s little league games. Submission to authority can never be taught by someone who slanders and curses an elected official.
May we ever seek to be doers of the Word, not merely hearers who delude themselves. May it never be said of us as it was said of the Pharisees by Jesus in Matthew 23:3, “Do as they say, but not as they do.” Let us be known as those who apply God’s Word. Let us strive to say like Paul in 1 Corinthians 11:1, “Be imitators of me just as I also am of Christ.”
“Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. 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 and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like. 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.” – James 1:22-25