James 1:22-25 says, “But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves. For if any be a hearer of the word, and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a glass: For he beholdeth himself, and goeth his way, and straightway forgetteth what manner of man he was. But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed."
Have you ever told anyone that they need to go take a long look in the mirror? This statement simply means that before we go and judge others, we may need to look in the mirror to see our own flaws. When I wake up in the morning, one of the first things that I do is look in the mirror. I notice the sleepy eyes, the crazy hair, and the disheveled nature of my attire. The mirror serves as an accurate reflection of my current reality. When I am getting ready for the day I stand in front of a mirror and shave, brush my teeth, fix my hair, etc. The mirror shows me whether I am presentable for the day. The mirror is a very useful tool, and yet it teaches me a wonderful lesson about this principle.
The point of the Bible’s illustration is that the casual believer hears the word of God and quickly forgets what it says because they have no intention of changing their behavior. Hearers of the Word are quick to “listen” to God’s Word and are fast to “forget”. Life goes on, as if God never said anything. This is the most dangerous way for a Christian to live. It is like the gray-haired lady, a long time member of her church, who shook hands with the pastor after the service one Sunday morning. “That was a wonderful sermon,” she exclaimed, “just wonderful! Everything you said applies to someone I know.”
James doesn’t want us applying the Word to others. He wants us to apply it to ourselves. As we see the revelation of God, the Spirit through His truth helps us see our sinful ugliness. We see how filthy our garments are and how much repentance we need.
We are all in need of looking into the spiritual mirror for an accurate reflection of who we are. The Word of God helps reveal those things to which we need to give our attention. In order for God to use us to make a difference in the lives of those who will follow, we must look in the mirror. May the Lord help us deal with the errors in our lives as He reveals them through His Word.
GOD’S MAN CHALLENGE
Allow God to change you, and He will use you to change the world.
GOD’S MAN PRAYER
Search me, O God and know my faults. Amen