Today’s Word: ‘Doer’ as in… let’s be doers, not just hearers!
I recently had a conversation with a remarkable group of parents. We made a list of the character traits that we want our kids and grandkids to develop in their lives: compassion, love, empathy, kindness, joy, hope, patience, a sense of justice, self-control. We all agreed that they won’t develop these traits unless we are modeling them.
I was reminded of the challenge from the ancient writer James. I imagined him holding up his very practical letter (with whatever he used for ink barely dry) and saying something like this:
“Hey, it’s not enough just to hear this and think it’s a great idea. You’ve got to get into this so that this can get into you! Hear it, then live it! Make this so much a part of you that it impacts the whole community!”
My late, great friend, Eugene Peterson understood it this way:
“Don’t fool yourself into thinking that you are a listener when you are anything but, letting the Word go in one ear and out the other. Act on what you hear! Those who hear and don’t act are like those who glance in the mirror, walk away, and two minutes later have no idea who they are, what they look like.”
Those who embody this ancient gospel-good-news will naturally bear the image of the ever-present Christ. Whether we’re in middle school or high school, a college student, young adult, middle aged or older, when the good news of God in Christ flows out of every part of us, the world shifts a lot.
So how do we practice this? Three “Ls”.
First, Listen. This is about developing the discipline of intentional hearing. We have to actually decide that we’re going to listen well before speaking.
Second, Linger. This is about practicing the art of counting to 10. Counting was never so challenging! By withstanding the temptation to speak right away, we create common space for differing views.
Third, Love. No one walks away from expressions of love and forgets what they look like.