Wow -the book of James is great!
I just spent some time in James preparing a message entitled, "The Blessing is in the Doing!" It seems James central concern is for authentic faith versus hollow faith. As I meditated on this wonderful book it seemed the entire book could be understood in terms of the hearer-only versus the doer of the word. Here are 15 differences I found in James.
15 Differences Between the Doer and the Hearer Only
from the book of James.
1. The doer measures maturity by his doing, not his knowing, the hearer-only measures maturity by his knowing. (James 1:22-25, 3:13-18)
2. The doer understands salvation is not merely instantaneous but also a lifelong process, the hearer-only thinks he’s done when he first believes. (James 1:21,25, 2:14-26)
3. The doer is hungry for holiness, the hearer-only sees it as of little importance. (James 1-5)
4. The doer deals in specifics, the hearer-only in vague applications. (James 1-5 i.e. speech, generosity/wealth, humility)
5. The doer is reliant on grace and very glad for it, the hearer-only knows grace but doesn’t know the fullness of its blessing because he hasn’t truly struggled for holiness. (James 1:18, 21)
6. The doer confesses sin, the hearer-only only hides it or is unaware of it. (James 3:14, 5:16)
7. The doer relies on others for his growth in Christ, the hearer-only doesn’t seek this sort of depth in relationships. (James 5:16,19-20)
8. The doer pursues fruit in speech, the hearer-only doesn’t see his need to grow in godly speech. (James 1:26, 3:1-12)
9. The doer pursues fruit in deep relationships, the hearer-only avoids relationships or keeps them shallow. (James 1-5)
10. The doer avoids pride and pursues humility, the hearer-only is blind to his pride. (James 3:13-18)
11. The doer doesn’t boast about tomorrow but recognizes his desperate and daily need for God, the hearer-only can be boastful and self-sufficient and lives for his plans. (James 4:13-17)
12. The doer is prayerful, the hearer-only doesn’t think he needs to be. (James 5:13-18)
13. The doer is sober about becoming a teacher the hearer-only is eager to tell others what he knows. (James 3:1 ff))
14. The doer understands that the test is in trials, the hearer-only fails in trials. (James 1:2-5)
15. The doer’s hope is in the future, the hearer-only seeks comfort now. (James 1:12, 21, 2:5, 5:7-11)
Don't be overwhelmed but consider 1 small step toward becoming a better doer - that is where the blessing is! And remember - doing only can be done because Jesus has already done it all - and our righteousness is already complete in Him!