After putting three screws in my hip, the doctor told me how to take care of it. He said if I did the necessary work, I would get 95-98% of my functionality and strength back. For six long weeks I had to use a walker to avoid putting weight on that leg. Using that walker was painful, aggravating and inhibiting.

Six weeks after my surgery, the doctor told me to start using crutches, and begin seeing a physical therapist. Three weeks later, the physical therapist told me to start bearing weight on the injured leg; beginning with 50%, and increasing gradually over the next six weeks. He also told me about the stretches and exercises I could do at home to strengthen my hip and the atrophied supporting muscles. Eventually, he told me to put the crutches down and walk normally.

Now, what do you think would have happened if I had been a hearer of what the doctor and physical therapist said, but not a doer? According to the doctor, it would have been absolutely disastrous. If I had, in my aggravation, tried to walk too soon, I would have broken the hip again – resulting in another surgery to replace it entirely. If I had not started walking, stretching and exercising when I was told, my muscles would have atrophied further and I would have gotten necrosis of the bone in my hip (and hip replacement surgery).

Fortunately, I am – like most of you – a good hearer and doer when it comes to my health. The result: I am riding my bike as long and far as I was before the accident. By doing what I heard, I have made it back to at least 90% of my functionality and strength, in less than six mouths. I am confident that I will get my health back to the doctor’s optimistic number – as long as I continue being a doer of the work.

My doctor and physical therapist assumed I would be a wise doer of what each one had to say.  Jesus had something similar to say about being a doer:

24 “Therefore whoever hears these sayings of Mine, and does them, I will liken him to a wise man who built his house on the rock: 25 and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it did not fall, for it was founded on the rock.

26 “But everyone who hears these sayings of Mine, and does not do them, will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand: 27 and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it fell. And great was its fall.” Matthew 7:24-27

Let me ask you, what would it mean for your house to fall in a great way? What do you think Jesus is talking about here? Whatever we think it may mean, we can be sure it is not something good.

Furthermore, what are “these sayings of Mine”? Do you know them specifically? If not, how can you be doing them?

Why do we take the directions of our doctors and physical therapists more seriously than the commands of our King? Are the consequences any less disastrous?

Consider what James has to say:

22 But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. 23 For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man observing his natural face in a mirror; 24 for he observes himself, goes away, and immediately forgets what kind of man he was. 25 But he who looks into the perfect law of liberty and continues in it, and is not a forgetful hearer but a doer of the work, this one will be blessed in what he does. James 1:22-25

The consequences of being only hearers: Self-deception, forgetfulness regarding the kind of people we are (i.e., the people of God), and the loss of blessing in our work. Sounds like disaster to me!

James goes on to say that even faith must be worked out to avoid becoming dead. For a good word picture of dead faith, check out From Inspiration to Stinking Possums.

The Lesson

Our spiritual health is more important than the health of our bodies. The words of our King are far more important than that of our doctors. We are being deceived to think otherwise. The consequences of our failure to be doers are enormous and tragic.

Of course, the problem with deception is that it is hard to know when you are being deceived. It normally takes someone to bring the truth to our attention. That’s the purpose of this blog; and this post in particular.

Let me suggest that you do something to break free of this deception. First, create a reminder on your computer, with a link to this lesson. Read it once a day for the next week. Second, verbally share the lesson with someone else.

Third, ask someone to encourage and pray for you; that God would remove the deception and replace it with the truth and promises He has for those that are doers of the word. Lastly, search this out further by considering the saying Jesus is referring to in the Matthew 7 passage. You can find a list of those here.

God bless you in your searching, hearing and doing.

Your servant and His forever,