A gray-haired old lady was a longtime member of her community and church. After services one Sunday morning, she shook hands with the minister. “That was a wonderful sermon,” she told him, “Just wonderful. Everything you said applies to someone I know” (Bits & Pieces, November, 1989, p. 19).
At times we have developed the bad habit of applying Scripture to everyone other than ourselves. Sure, everyone has something to fix and we could probably point out their flaws, but we should take a hard look at ourselves first.
In the book of James, a comparison is being made to a mirror. In this context, the mirror is the word of God. James is pointing out that some people look into the mirror that is God’s word and walk away without making any changes. When we hear a sermon or study our Bibles, we are looking into this Scriptural mirror. If we walk away without making changes, this could be dangerous. Notice what James says:
“But prove yourselves doers of the word, and not merely hearers who delude themselves. For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks at his natural face in a mirror; for once he has looked at himself and gone away, he has immediately forgotten what kind of person he was. But one who looks intently at the perfect law, the law of liberty, and abides by it, not having become a forgetful hearer but an effectual doer, this man will be blessed in what he does” (1:22-25).
Let’s not be so quick to point the mirror at others and neglect looking into the mirror ourselves. After all, it’s easier to help others if we remove the “logs” in our own lives first (Matthew 7:3-5). It’s important to look into the mirror often, but it’s even more important to change the flaws we see. If we looked in a physical mirror and saw broccoli stuck in our teeth, an unruly clump of hair sticking out, or part of our clothing out of line, we would quickly fix it. If we look into the Scriptural mirror and see something off, let’s be sure we fix this as well.
Both physically and spiritually, let’s take a look at the mirror and make the proper adjustments. Let’s commit ourselves to being both “hearers and doers” of the word after looking in the mirror. Doing so would show great wisdom on our part and will reap eternal rewards (Matthew 7:21-27).