Rising Joy, by Vicki Matheny
But the one who peers into the perfect law of liberty and fixes his attention there, and does not become a forgetful listener but one who lives it out – he will be blessed in what he does. James 1.25
What gets your attention? What do you focus on? We all have things that we consider important, things that we want to focus on in our lives. However, so often, that is not where we spend most of our time. We let the urgent things take over for they are the things screaming in our ear for attention. They may not be important at all, but the fact that they will not be silenced bumps them to the front of the line.
James wrote a very practical letter. He was writing to Jewish Christians who were living outside of Israel. He told them what they needed to do to be blessed in their actions.
James told his readers where to put their attention. First, one must peer into the perfect law of liberty. It is more than glancing at it. Time needs to be spent learning it. It is perfect in that it is complete and it will set us free from the urgent things and help us to value what is important. To fix your attention is not glancing at it occasionally, but to spend time reading and studying what is inside.
Secondly, listening is not enough. You need to practice what you have learned, live it out. Just as with other things, spiritual muscles need to be exercised. If you listen and then do nothing, it is of no benefit to you. Even worse many times you forget what you have learned. Practice is necessary!
Where is your attention focused? How well do you listen?