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FIRST-PERSON: More than watching a movie

DITTMER, Mo. (BP) — Am I the only one who thought I was a martial arts expert after watching the movie “Karate Kid” and seeing the intense instruction that “Daniel-san” received from Mr. Miyagi?

I saw the movie when it came out on the big screen in 1984. Sadly, my new knowledge did not make me a “black belt,” especially since all the other kids I went to school with saw the same movie I did.

Just watching a movie will never make me an expert in any particular field, although I might temporarily act like I am.

Watching a movie like “Cool Running,” for example, may give me a new interest in bobsledding and Jamaican winter Olympic sports, but actually thinking about going down a mountain of curving walls of ice at high speed in a fiberglass eggshell quickly brings me back to a sensible reality.

Some people, akin to watching a movie, love to hear what the pastor, Bible teacher or missionary shares but that’s often as far as they tend to get involved.

God’s Word clearly teaches us that following Christ is not at all a spectator sport. Being “like” Jesus Christ requires us to have and practice consistent faith — which is directly correlated to “action.”

Sitting in a theater (congregation) and watching others live out “our faith” misses the mark. We’re not here on this earth to just watch movies about the Light of the world, but we’re commanded to go out and be the light of the world.

“Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says,” the Bible tells us in James 1:22-25. “Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like someone who looks at his face in a mirror and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like. But whoever looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues in it — not forgetting what they have heard, but doing it — they will be blessed in what they do.”