Looking Into God’s Mirror

(James 1:22-25)

Mike Johnson

Mirrors are everywhere.  Most bathrooms have a mirror.  They also may be strategically placed in various places in a house.  We see them in stores, they are in our automobiles,  and a woman will often carry a mirror in her purse.  It is not usually very difficult to find a mirror.

What is  a mirror for?  We look at mirrors to see if something about us is amiss– to see if anything needs to be changed.  Our tie might be crooked, our hair might not be properly combed or brushed, we might have food around our mouths or toothpaste on our lips.  A woman, for example, may look in a mirror to see if her make-up is properly applied.

James 1:21 points out we are to put away sin and wickedness and are to receive with meekness God’s Word.  Verse 22 says we are to be “doers” of God’s Word and not “hearers only.”  It is not enough to simply be a hearer of God’s Word; we must also obey it.  The writer then gives an illustration about looking into a mirror in verses 23-24.  He says, “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.”

Generally speaking, a person does not look into a mirror; see something wrong and then not make a correction.  It is not uncommon, however, for a person to look into God’s mirror (the Bible); see sin his life and make no changes whatsoever.  As with the analogy, this does not make much sense.

Many people hear the Word of God but are not willing to make changes.  It is great that one is willing to hear the Word of God, but it is also essential to do what it says.  On one occasion Jesus asked (Lk. 6:46), “But why do you call Me ‘Lord, Lord,’ and not do the things which I say?”  In Luke 11:28, he said to a woman, “…blessed are those who hear the word of God and keep it!”

In verse 22, he said those who hear the word and do not obey it are “deceiving” themselves.  In what sense is this true?  They think that hearing the Word of God is good enough, and there is enough merit in only hearing the Word to make themselves acceptable in the eyes of God.  If someone thinks this, he is deceiving himself.

How you looked into God’s mirror lately?  If so, what did you see?  Seeing imperfections is not enough.  We must make the corrections!