James 1:23-27 says "Because if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man looking at his own face in a mirror. For he looks at himself, goes away, and immediately forgets what kind of man he was. 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.”
This was the focal verse for a youth retreat I attended this past weekend. The theme of the weekend was "Don't be a Couch Potato". It reminds me of a conversation I had with a friend several months ago. Her church had just finished a weekend youth retreat and she expressed her frustration with how youth often come back from retreats and camp fired up for Jesus but in 1-2 weeks time half of them are not even attending church much less continuing personal Bible study.
Our speaker this weekend was Ryan Young. In one of his sermons he noted that many student leaders spend less than 10 minutes a week in personal Bible study. Before you begin to shake your head about how our young people need to spend more time in the Word of God, ask yourself how much time have you spent in the Bible in the past 7 days?
Often times we use a retreat or camp or revival service to look deeply at ourselves in the spiritual mirror of the Bible. We have good intentions of making the needed changes to our lives to live more dedicated to Christ. To follow Him and serve Him more deeply. But as the weeks go by we begin to slip into old habits. Much like when we go to our favorite hairstylist for a cut and color. We watch closely as she blow dries our hair and styles it perfectly. We memorize her movements and buy the same products she uses so we can recreate this salon look at home. But a few days into our new resolve to have perfectly coifed hair everyday we begin to run out of time. The alarm doesn't go off or the kids don't want to get dressed and we think "just this once I'm going to pull my hair into a ponytail and let it be." Then another day goes by and that ponytail look is so much more convient. We have forgotten what we looked like in the mirror.
Retreats and camps are great. They nourish the soul and give us rest from a world consumed with strife. But if we come back unchanged we have missed the point. Let the Word of God change you. Let Jesus make you different today than what you were yesterday. Resolve to spend time reading and studying God's Word everyday. Let God reveal how you can follow Him more closely. Then do something about it.