19 Understand this, my dear brothers and sisters! Let every person be quick to listen, slow to speak, slow to anger. 20 For human anger does not accomplish God’s righteousness. 21 So put away all filth and evil excess and humbly welcome the message implanted within you, which is able to save your souls. 22 But be sure you live out the message and do not merely listen to it and so deceive yourselves. 23 For if someone merely listens to the message and does not live it out, he is like someone who gazes at his own face in a mirror. 24 For he gazes at himself and then goes out and immediately forgets what sort of person he was. 25 But the one who peers into the perfect law of liberty and fixes his attention there, and does not become a forgetful listener but one who lives it out—he will be blessed in what he does. 26 If someone thinks he is religious yet does not bridle his tongue, and so deceives his heart, his religion is futile.
Pirkei Avot 3:8Mishnah
8 Rabbi Dostai ben Rabbi Yannai said in the name of Rabbi Meir: whoever forgets one word of his study, scripture accounts it to him as if he were mortally guilty, as it is said, “But take utmost care and watch yourselves scrupulously, so that you do not forget the things that you saw with your own eyes” (Deuteronomy 4:9). One could [have inferred that this is the case] even when his study proved [too] hard for him, therefore scripture says, “that they do not fade from your mind as long as you live” (ibid.). Thus, he is not mortally guilty unless he deliberately removes them from his heart.
Notes and References
"... James comments in order to clarify what it means to 'look into the perfect law, the law of liberty, and persevere' ... 'Those who persevere' is clarified in light of 1:22 and 1:23-24: 'being not hearers who forget but doers who act.' ... The connection of 'forget' with 'law' is typical of the Old Testament ... Forgetting becomes extreme (in language, of course) for the rabbis. To complement the quotation of m. Avot 3:8, there is 5:12 ..."
McKnight, Scot The Letter of James (pp. 158-160) William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 2011