“But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves.” – James 1:22
A few years ago, my mom, sister, and I studied the book of James for school. Most of the first chapter made sense to me except for this verse: “For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man observing his natural face in a mirror; for he observes himself, goes away, and immediately forgets what kind of man he was.” (James 1:23-24) Not until yesterday did this passage start to make sense!
I was listening to a sermon by Dr. Kenny Baldwin on these verses. He explained them this way: The Bible is our mirror. So often, we read the Bible and then forget what we read or forget what God told us through Scripture. As our mirror, the Bible shows us what we really look like – blemishes, bumps, bruises – all of it. Conviction is hard…but if we leave ourselves the way we were before we looked in the mirror, we are walking around all messed up. We’ve got stuff hanging out our nose, our shirts are backwards, and – as our family likes to say – all the girls have “clown lips” from their lipstick. ☺
Sometimes Mama has to get on me for forgetting to do a chore or task she told me to do. I hear her say it, ask if I can do something else first, and then just plain forget. Then later, we can’t have what we were all hoping to have for dinner because I forgot to pull out the frozen hamburger to thaw (I love hamburgers!). It’s the same with our Christian life. God tells us things and we feel like we need to do something more important before we do what God said. Then, after a while, we just forget… and miss out on the neat things God had planned.
After the forgetful man verse, James goes on: “But he who looks into the perfect law of liberty and continues in it, and is not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this one will be blessed in what he does.” We need to see ourselves in the perfect law of liberty – the truth – and do what we’ve been commanded. Believe me – the truth does set you free!
I don’t know if you’ve ever heard this before, but I’ve been told before that I have TWO ears and ONE mouth for a reason. Let’s listen to what God has to say together and do it. I promise that God has something better in store than hamburgers for dinner. ☺