"But whoever looks into the perfect law that gives freedom and continues in it - not forgetting what they heard, but doing it - they will be blessed in what they do." (NIV)
"But if you look carefully into the perfect law that sets you free, and if you do what it says and don't forget what you heard, then God will bless you for doing it." (NLT)
"But he who looks into the perfect law of liberty and continues in it, and is not a forgetful hearer but a doer of the work, this one will be blessed in what he does." (NKJV)
"But the one who looks intently into the perfect law of freedom and perseveres in it, and is not a forgetful hearer but one who does good works - this person will be blessed in what he does." (HCSB)
Am I a forgetful listener?
That's the question that keeps coming to mind whichever translation I read James 1:25 in. It's a challenging question to ponder. It's a question that digs deep.
Am I forgetful listener?
It's easy to sit in church and listen to a sermon and then walk out and forget everything that was said. It's easy to read Scripture either on your own or in a Bible study and then walk away and forget everything you just read. It's easy to be a forgetful listener.
But, James is cautioning us against that in this verse. The larger passage that this verse is a part of talks about how we need to not just listen, but also live out our faith (James 1:19-25). We cannot live what Scripture teaches if we're forgetful listeners. We must study God's Word intently so we can do what it says because that will bring true freedom in our lives.