Stop Deluding Yourself

The Letter of James is short and to the point on how we are to behave. There are points made about anger, the word of God and action. However, as I read it, I came to see that it is about listening. And listening well. We are exhorted to be hearers and then act on what we have heard. If we do not, we risk deluding ourselves into thinking we are someone we are not. We also risk leading others astray if they know we call ourselves Catholic without behaving as such.

James reminds us repeatedly to look to the word, learn it and live it. When we immerse ourselves in Scripture, we put on the mind of Christ. Only then can we respond as He does to a world in chaos. Of course, we do this as well as possible given that we are not Jesus but His follower. As people of faith, we can call on Him to help us be better in a world that is in desperate need of healing. Our behavior- how we treat people, speak to others, care for those in need – that is what people notice. It is the doer of the word who reaches out who is helping to heal the world.

As in the Gospel though, sometimes healing comes slowly. And we may lack patience, faith, or trust. The blind man’s friends wanted something good for their friend. Jesus wants our good. Do you wonder why the man’s friends are mentioned? I think it is to remind us that we are meant to have and be community. And it is in community that we need to follow what James tells us to do. 

As you go about your day, think about how you can take the words of the First Reading and put them into practice. “Be doers of the word and not hearers only, deluding yourselves.”

Contact the author

Deanna G. Bartalini, is a Catholic writer, speaker, educator and retreat leader. She is the founder of the community, a place to inform, engage and inspire your Catholic faith through interactive Bible studies, courses and book clubs. Her weekly podcast,, gives you tips and tools to live out your faith. At  she writes about whatever is on her mind at the moment.

Feature Image Credit: Priscilla Du Preez,