Do our words match our actions?
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 this 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.
Those who consider themselves religious and yet do not keep a tight rein on their tongues deceive themselves, and their religion is worthless. Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.James 1:22-27
This passage of scripture from James offers us a lot to digest. James talks about several things, including what it means to truly listen and hear what scripture is saying to us, the freedom in following God’s Word and the blessing that comes with it, our false ideas of religion and what the Lord accepts as pure, along with a strong charge for believers in Christ to care for the orphans and widows and to remain separated from the sin in the world.
Everyone has been guilty at one time or another of saying one thing with our words and then demonstrating different behavior after those words are spoken. We don’t like to admit that we participate in this cycle of behavior, but like James says, we deceive ourselves if we hear the Word of God and do not put it into practice.
As long as we live on Earth, we will be subject to sin and to its many deceits, whether we are using our words to falsely impress others, acting overly pious and religious to place ourselves above others, or whether we use our words to hurt and slander while proclaiming to be believers in Christ.
All of these behaviors, James says, are sinful and foolish. May we all take the time to consider our actions as individuals and as professionals in our field. Do our words match our actions? Does it matter? Is God pleased with our conduct? Are we engaging with one another in truth?
Upon successful completion of this discussion, you will be able to:
Apply ethical, Christ-like attitudes, values, and worldview appropriate to mezzo social work practice. (PO 1)
Review the rubric to make sure you understand the criteria for earning your grade.
Navigate to the threaded discussion and respond to the following discussion questions:
As you take time to reflect on where you are on your own spiritual journey, can you identify with any of the themes James offers in this passage?
Can you think of a time when you observed someone speak in one way and behave in another? What did that make you feel towards that person?
How does this passage challenge you both personally and professionally today?
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