“People would rather debate doctrine or beliefs or tradition or interpretation rather than actually do what Jesus said.”- John Ortberg
“Be doers of the word, and not merely hearers.”- James 1:22 (NRSV)
John Ortberg concludes Chapter 8 of The Me I Want to Be as he discusses the importance of memorizing Scripture. Rather than making our minds a duller place, memorizing Bible passages develops a rich inner life.
Eva Hermann spent two years in a Nazi prison camp. One day she heard a young cell mate reciting the prayer of St. Theresa. Noting how much the prayer helped Eva, the young girl began saying the prayer at the end of every day. As a result, Eva later wrote, she’d met God in that prison camp in a way she’d never met Him anywhere else.
However, when we suffer from spiritual inertia our problem consists of knowing too much, but doing too little. At such times, Pastor Ortberg stresses, we need to actually do the things we know we ought to do. John writes:
“It’s not rocket science. Just go do it. Practice loving a difficult person or try forgiving someone. Give away some money. Tell someone thank you. Encourage a friend. Bless an enemy. Say ‘I’m sorry.’ Worship God. You already know more than you need to know.”
In other words, John emphasizes, you already know enough from the Bible to actually do what Jesus said. Of course, John concludes, the Holy Spirit helps us to be doers of the word. Therefore, Pastor Ortberg states, “the intersection of what the Scriptures teach and how our lives unfold [gives] us a never-ceasing stream to actually do what Jesus says.”
Today’s question: Following your vocation loss, how have you been a doer of the word? Please share.
Tomorrow’s blog: “Finding a lake with no storms”