In James 1:25, it says “Whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therin, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed.” I have encountered this scripture many times and have heard it mentioned countless other times, but not until reading it recently did I understand a new and greater meaning that it had. To start, the phrase “forgetful hearer” is mentioned, but what does that mean? A “forgetful hearer” is someone who hears truth, yet might forget or set aside the importance of it and does nothing to spread it. If you never hear or read the truth, how could you be expected to be accountable for it? However, once you’ve come across the truth, you become responsible to use the knowledge you have gained for good; Voltaire said, “Every man is guilty of the good he did not do.” Once you know the great blessing of liberty, and the importance it holds, it is your duty to protect and cherish it. If you do this, though you may encounter criticism and mockery by some, you will ultimately be blessed.
Another point made in the passage that I found interesting was, that right in the beginning, he mentions liberty. It is wonderful to know that a man so virtuous and righteous, who inspired so many, loved and valued liberty. He clearly understood its value and his duty to protect it. The founding fathers, and other who helped shape the united states, all diligently read the words of James and others in the Bible. They trusted these men and the words they wrote and it helped mold them into the heroes we know them as today.
Thomas Jefferson said, “All tyranny needs to gain a foothold is for people of good conscience to remain silent”. Don’t remain silent, don’t be a forgetful hearer, and never forget the true and valued blessings that come from knowing and loving liberty. “Now, act honestly and boldly for liberty, or forget the glorious and charming sound.”-John Trenchard