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Articles > About Faith: > To Know and Not to Do

To Know and Not to Do

"Anyone who listens to the Word but does not do what it says is like a man who looks at his face in a mirror and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like. But the man who looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues to do this, not forgetting what he has heard, but doing it—he will be blessed in what he does."1

Here's a riddle I recently read: "Five frogs sat on a log. Four decided to jump off. How many frogs left on the log?"

There were two brothers in Georgia during the 1950s. One decided that, in opposition to the dominant culture of the day, he was going to participate in the formation of a desegregated community. The other worked as an attorney for a prominent law firm. Both were Christians and attended church regularly. As the community formed and social pressure forced the community into court proceedings, the one brother asked his attorney brother to help them with the legal work. The brother refused, saying that he could lose his job. He pressured his brother to help with a reminder that he was a Christian. The lawyer responded, "I will follow Jesus to His cross, but it is His cross. I have no need to be crucified." To this his brother replied, "Then you are an admirer of Jesus, but not His disciple."2

What was your answer to the riddle above? Was it one, two, three, or four? According to the person who posed the question the answer is five. "How come?" you ask. It's because there is a world of difference between deciding and doing.

As a Buddhist monk once said, "To know and not to do is not yet to know." To translate this into our Christian terminology I would put it this way: "To believe and not to act is not yet to believe for I only truly believe that which motivates me to action."

Suggested prayer: "Dear God, in appreciation for all You have done for me, please help me to be a faithful follower and disciple of Jesus, and not just an admirer or a hearer of Your Word. Thank You for hearing and answering my prayer. Gratefully, in Jesus' name, amen."

1. James 1:23-25 (NIV).
2. Brett Blair, Adapted from a sermon by Brian Stoffregen on


All articles on this website are written by
Richard (Dick) Innes unless otherwise stated.

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