Be Doers of the Word - The Warrior's Journey®

Be Doers of the Word

Author: Chaplain, COL Scott McChrystal, USA (Ret.)

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“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 someone who looks at his face in a mirror and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like. But whoever looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues in it—not forgetting what they have heard, but doing it—they will be blessed in what they do.”  (James 1:22-25) 

On military bases it’s not uncommon to find full-length mirrors at the entrance ways of many buildings. These mirrors are not meant to satisfy somebody’s vanity. They are there so people can check themselves – particularly their uniform – to make sure they are “squared away” and “good to go” in their appearance. With the advent of Velcro on uniforms, it’s very easy to report for duty with a missing name tag or rank. If you’re leaving the chow hall, you might have easily spilled sauce on yourself. You’d much rather catch these things before a superior spots them.  A good look in the mirror might save the warrior from a butt-chewing and some push-ups if his appearance needs correcting. 

James tells us that God’s word is like a mirror to us. When we look intently at the word of God it points out to us the error of our ways and highlights behaviors we need to correct. It gives us an honest assessment of ourselves – if we look intently at it. 

Many Christian believers only take only a quick glance when they read the Scripture. Taking a quick glance is merely a “check the block” practice. It’s like the warrior who merely glances at the mirror out of habit, without stopping to look for discrepancies. We need to give the Scripture the full attention it deserves. If we only give God’s word a glance we’ll fail to catch the imperfections it’s trying to show us and we immediately forget what we read. The “quick glance” people are like those who merely hear the word of God but fail to take the corrective action it demands. As Paul says in Romans 2:13, it is not the hearers of the word who righteous in God’s sight, but the doers of the word. 

Let’s be doers of the Word and not hearers only. Let’s look intently into the life of Jesus and into His holy word. How do our lives measure up to Him, to His words? It’s far better to let the mirror of God’s word point out any sinful practices that need correcting. It’s far better to ask for God’s help to change our ways. Otherwise, God will administer His painful discipline to purge us and make us more like Jesus (1 Corinthians 11:31-32). 


  • God’s word diagnoses the problems in our lives, but what else does God’s word do for us? (See Psalm 107:20; 119:9, 11, 25, 28, 37, 50, 116, 130, 133, 149, 165; John 15:3; Ephesians 5:26; Hebrews 4:12; James 1:21; 1 Peter 1:23). 
  • Let’s peer deeply into the flawless mirror of God’s holy word. 

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