Correction in the Reflection (James 1:22-24)
James 1:22-24, 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.
Many years ago, while on a visit to America, a wealthy Chinese businessman was fascinated by a powerful microscope. Looking through its lens to study crystals and the petals of flowers, he was amazed at their beauty and detail. He then decided to purchase a microscope and take it back to China. He thoroughly enjoyed using it until one day he examined some rice he was planning to eat for dinner. Much to his dismay, he discovered that tiny living creatures were crawling in the rice. Since he was especially fond of this staple food in his daily diet, he wondered what to do. Finally, he concluded that there was only one way out of his dilemma—he would destroy the instrument that caused him to discover the distasteful fact! He then smashed the microscope to pieces.
"How foolish!" some would say, but many people do the same thing with the Word of God. They despise it and reject it because it reveals their sinful nature. It reveals God's conditions for salvation and the consequences of rejecting His authority. Ignoring God's Word or rejecting it does not change the standard that the Lord has laid down for mankind of what is right and wrong. In fact, ignoring or rejecting His Word will only damage your life.
James uses the illustration of looking at our natural face in a mirror. The phrase natural face simply means "the face one was born with." The purpose of a mirror is to give an accurate reflection of the person looking into it. And when you look in a mirror you see exactly what you have to deal with.
The word beholdeth carries the idea of a" casual, haphazard glance." A "hearer-only" of the Word gives attention to what he hears but ends up forgetting or neglecting what the Lord was speaking to him about. He looks into the mirror and sees his face, but he goes on without concern. That is contrary to the purpose of mirrors. We look into the mirror to see what needs work before we go out.
What you do with the Bible will determine what God does with you. God wants us to put His Word into action in our lives. That is how we will change and become more like Christ and that is how others will be changed as they are won to the Saviour. The world does not need a definition of religion as much as it needs a demonstration.
The Bible is like a mirror. When we read the Scriptures, it shows us who we really are. James says that a hearer is like a person who takes a quick glance at the mirror and then immediately forgets what he saw. The doer looks intently into the mirror and does not forget. He sees what needs to be fixed and he fixes it.
Prayer, Father in Heaven, help me to walk the walk and not just talk the talk. May I take Your Word seriously and work hard at practicing what I learn from it. May my life reflect Jesus Christ in a way that people will know I am His before I ever open my mouth. May I not do this for the applause of men, but that You would be pleased with how I use the life You have given to me. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
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Dr. Blackman is passionate about helping others grow in the grace of the Lord. His devotions are centered on how to grow closer to the Lord through a personal relationship.