«Do not deceive yourselves by just listening to his word; instead, put it into practice» (James 1:22, GNT).
A PROVERB FROM INDIA says: “Those who read books surpass the uneducated; those who retain what they have read surpass those who read books; those who understand what they have read surpass those who retain what they have read; and those who put it into practice surpass those who understand what they have read.» proverb, besides being graceful, is profound and true: yes, it is important to cultivate the mind through the knowledge that reading gives, but still more important is laying the foundation for that knowledge to be reflected in our way of being and acting. In other words, less sermonizing and more taking action.
I agree because it just seems logical to me; however, in addition to being logical, it is also one hundred percent biblical. apostle James expressed it in these words: «Do not deceive yourselves by just listening to his word; instead, put it into practice» (1:22, GNT). Of course, we cannot deceive others because what we do screams louder than what we say, but deceiving ourselves would not be a very attractive way to take in life.
There is a passage in the Bible that is very well adapted to the topic we are addressing today. It is the case of the Ethiopian official who «was returning [to his country]. And sitting in his chariot, he was reading Isaiah the prophet» (Acts 8:28). Philip, prompted by the Holy Spirit, went out to meet him and asked: «Do you understand what you are reading?» The Ethiopian replied: «How can I, unless someone guides me?» (verses 30, 31). Philip patiently explained what the Scriptures said about Christ, and the Ethiopian official asked him: «What hinders me from being baptized?» (verse 36). Here is a clear example of reading, retaining, comprehending, and taking action. At that moment, the Ethiopian surpassed thousands of Jews who read and retained, but did not understand. Hence, what they practiced was wrong.
What can you say about yourself, dear friend? What are your answers? The questions are simple, direct, pertinent, and to the point: 1) Do you read? 2) Do you retain what you are reading? 3) Do you understand what you are reading? 4) Do you put it into practice?