James 1:23

23 Those who hear and don't act are like those who glance in the mirror,

James 1:23 Meaning and Commentary

James 1:23

But if any man be a hearer of the word, and not a doer,
&c.] The Arabic version here again reads, "a hearer of the law", and so some copies; not hearing, but practice, is the main thing; not theory, but action: hence, says R. Simeon, not the word, or the searching into it, and the explanation of it, is the root, or principal thing, (hvemh ala) , "but the work" F16: and if a man is only a preacher, or a hearer, and not a doer,

he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a glass;
or, "the face of his generation"; the face with which he was born; his true, genuine, native face; in distinction from any counterfeit one, or from the face of his mind: it means his own corporeal face. The Ethiopic version renders it, "the lineaments of his face".


FOOTNOTES:

F16 Pirke Abot, c. 1. sect. 17.

James 1:23 In-Context

21 So throw all spoiled virtue and cancerous evil in the garbage. In simple humility, let our gardener, God, landscape you with the Word, making a salvation-garden of your life.
22 Don't fool yourself into thinking that you are a listener when you are anything but, letting the Word go in one ear and out the other. Act on what you hear!
23 Those who hear and don't act are like those who glance in the mirror,
24 walk away, and two minutes later have no idea who they are, what they look like.
25 But whoever catches a glimpse of the revealed counsel of God - the free life! - even out of the corner of his eye, and sticks with it, is no distracted scatterbrain but a man or woman of action. That person will find delight and affirmation in the action.