Learners and Doers

Can you learn to ride a bike by only listening to instruction?
Can you learn to draw by only buying art supplies?
Can you learn to write by only reading?

There are certain academics that are foundational for all of these activities.  But ultimately, a cyclist will never emerge until the bike is ridden.  A person will never be an artist until a sketch has been created.  And a writer is not a writer until words are formed into sentences and paragraphs are produced.  It is in the practical application that we transition from learner to doer.

Reading and studying are the groundwork but doing is the step to transformation.

God says that I should not fool myself into thinking that I am something just because I’ve heard it.  Listening to instruction on drawing or studying it and memorizing quotes from famous artists do not make me an artist.  In fact, if I listen to the instruction but don’t practically apply it, the Bible equates this to forgetting that I had ever learned it in the first place.

Is forgiveness any different?  If I study all of the Bible verse there are on forgiveness and read every book that was ever written on forgiveness, but cannot practically apply this in my own marriage towards my brother in the faith.  Then I am a learner of forgiveness, not a forgiving person.

It is the practical application that changes me into a truly forgiving person.

After all, if all I ever build is a foundation it doesn’t matter how strong, big and purposeful that foundation is, if there is no action to bring it to completion.  It will always be just a foundation … nothing more.

What foundation is God asking  me to act on in my marriage?

~James 1:22~ 
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!
Those who hear and don’t act are like those who glance in the mirror, walk away, and two minutes later
have no idea who they are, what they look like.


  1. I really had to dig to answer your question about a foundation… I’m living in a place where obedience and trust are required. Real obedience. Real trust. (not just the academic, prayerful kind…). Great post. Lots of “meat” to chew on…

    (love the Charles Spurgeon quote on the sidebar!)

  2. Sometimes the valley of the real seems a little ‘too’ real doesn’t it. Like you, I too, have discovered that living it out is the harder part of the equation. I much prefer sitting in my quiet place with my coffee and God as I study and pray. But that’s kind of like preparing a beautiful prime rib roast, and not inviting anyone to share it.

    THAT is one of my favourite Spurgeon quotes. I’m glad you like it. I continually ‘lean’ on it for encouragement. And when I fall through the Spurgeon quote I usually land on this one by Corry ten Boom:

    “When a train goes through a tunnel and it gets dark, you don’t throw away the ticket and jump off. You sit still and trust the engineer.”

    I pray Corry can provide a little help with the real trust and obedience that you are called to walk in.

    Thanks for commenting. You ARE a great encourager.

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