Jms. 1:22-25 “Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says,” (Jms. 1:22).
Many people don’t listen to God’s Word at all; they are not being addressed in this verse. These words are directed to those of us who place ourselves within the teaching of the scriptures (listening or reading), with never any intention of letting it tell us what to do. There are many of us who feel better in the simple act of attending church or reading a blog. We deceive ourselves. We are now responsible for the truth to which we were exposed – responsible to obey. When we turn away with no intention of obeying we are “like someone who looks at his face in a mirror and then goes away, forgetting what he looks like,” (Jms. 1:23-24).
I’m sure you, like me, look in the mirror first thing in the morning. I run a pick through my hair so I don’t look too goofy for my husband. God through James is so wise to use this illustration to which every one of us can relate.
I well remember a fateful day I glanced in the mirror and walked away without tending to the business it clarified for me. I was counseling a group of high school girls at a weekend leadership retreat. There were many of us in one cabin, one bathroom and few mirrors to be had. We left for breakfast and after that the first meeting before I remembered my hair. Uh, oh! My hair – and what about makeup!?!? I excused myself, made a hasty retreat at that retreat and took advantage of being the only one in our cabin using the mirror for a few minutes!
Can you imagine arising in the morning, making a habit of observing your atrocious bed-head in the mirror and then ignoring the valuable information the mirror has provided, actually leaving the house that way? Yet that is precisely how many people treat the Word of God.
I hope you take it seriously, as something to be studied regularly and obeyed because “the one who looks into the perfect law, the law of liberty, and perseveres, being no hearer who forgets but a doer who acts, he will be blessed in his doing,” (Jms. 1:25).
Lord God, let our mirrors serve as reminders of our desperate need to peer earnestly into the pages of your Word to see how we look spiritually and what to do about it. Then empower us to obey!”