If you’re a Christian and you went to church yesterday, you sat under the preaching of God’s word. And/or perhaps you heard or read the word in some other way. It’s important that we do something with what you’ve heard. Actually, it’s important that we don’t do nothing with it.
In James 1:22, James warns his readers to be “doers” of the word and not hearers only, deceiving themselves. And then he provides an illustration to describe this self-deception:
For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks intently at his natural face in a mirror. For he looks at himself and goes away and at once forgets what he was like.
For the most part, when you look at yourself in the mirror, you notice what needs attention. You might see a blemish or notice you’ve put on a couple of pounds. But then, when you leave the mirror, that image typically vanishes, and you go on about your day. We really only tend to ourselves when it’s in sight and in mind.
The word of God is a mirror to our souls. Not only does it show us who God is and what He has done, but it also tells us what He expects of us in Christ, and when we look intently at it, we see what areas of our lives need attention. But if we don’t do what it says, we quickly forget our spiritual reflection, and we go on about our day.
Going back to the physical mirror, if a person notices that they’ve gained a couple of pounds and so they eat better or exercise more, the reflection mattered. If we hear the word and live according to it, the hearing mattered. But if someone hears the word and it doesn’t cause them to want to live for Christ, then it doesn’t matter to them. They’re deceiving themselves.
For someone who has truly been saved by God’s grace through faith in Christ, the Bible is going to matter to him, and he will desire to live for Jesus according to what He has said.
And so, sheep, as we go on this week, may we be doers of the word, and not hearers only.