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But be doers of the Word (obey the message), and not merely listeners to it, betraying yourselves (into deception by reasoning contrary to the Truth).  James 1:22 (AMPC)

Doer: it’s a word that has been popping up a lot recently in my daily readings.  Am I merely a listener or an active doer?  Am I internalising its meaning and actively obeying it?  Another translation puts it:

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!  James 1:22 (MSG)

The same challenge arose in Luke 6:49:

But he who merely hears and does not practice doing My words is like a man who built a house on the ground without a foundation, against which the torrent burst, and immediately it collapsed and fell, and the breaking and ruin of that house was great.  Luke 6:49 (AMPC)

The word “merely” confronted me again as I glanced up the page in my Bible to Luke 6:32:

If you (merely) love those who love you, what quality of credit and thanks is that to you?  Luke 6:32 (AMPC)

Am I merely loving the lovable?  Am I merely loving those who return love?  Am I selective in whom I love?  As a modern translation phrases it:

If you only love the lovable, do you expect a pat on the back?  Run-of-the-mill sinners do that…  Luke 6:32 (MSG)

And in a similar vein it appears in 1 John 3:18:

Little children, let us not love (merely) in theory or in speech but in deed and in truth (in practice and in sincerity).  1 John 3:18 (AMPC)

Am I just talking about love or actually putting it into practice?  As the Living Bible puts it:

Little children, let us stop just saying we love people; let us really love them, and show it by our actions.  1 John 3:18 (TLB)

Do not merely listen.  Do not merely love.