“Do not merely listen to the word and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like someone who looks at his face in a mirror and after looking at himself goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like. But whoever looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom and continues in it, not forgetting what they have heard, but doing it, they will be blessed in what they do.” -James 1: 22-25
Have you ever gone a full year without looking into a mirror or seeing your reflection? What about a month? What about a week? A day? If we’re honest, a lot of us have a hard time even going a couple hours without looking at ourselves in a physical mirror. We’re constantly looking in mirrors because we want to be sure that we “look presentable” and that nothing is out of place. The mirror shows us our true reflection. We understand this concept when it comes to a physical mirror but what about when it comes to the “true spiritual mirror?”
Why is that when it comes to our physical appearance, most of us are willing to fix ourselves in order to ensure that what is being reflected in the mirror is presentable and refined? However, when it comes to our spiritual appearance (character) we aren’t always willing to put in that same effort.
We’ve all probably experienced a somewhat embarrassing moment where we were not aware that something was out of place on our physical bodies. Maybe it was a booger in our nose, or our hair was sticking up, or a piece of food was stuck in our teeth. Then we went to the bathroom or we walked past a mirror and we truly SAW OURSELVES! What emotion did you and I experience in that moment? Horror? Embarrassment? Shame? Awkwardness? Apathy? Indifference? No matter the emotional response we experienced, it did not take away from the reality that something was off.
So, what did we do when we saw ourselves? We most likely immediately took the necessary steps to fix the physical problem. That may have meant getting a tissue to clean out our nose, or finding a comb and fixing our hair, or getting a piece of floss to clean out our teeth. We were WILLING to get the tools we needed and spend the necessary time in the mirror to fix ourselves.
If we’re willing to put this much effort in our physical appearance, how much more should we be diligent in correcting and refining the inner man (our souls)?
The WORD OF GOD is our mirror.
The Word is the ONLY way we are able to TRULY SEE ourselves.
I can’t speak for you, but I’ll speak for myself. Sometimes I don’t study the Word of God or look intently into the Word like I should because I know it’s going to show me the truth of the spiritual ugliness that is within me. Quite frankly, sometimes I’m not ready to face my own ugliness. I feel like it’s too horrific. So, it’s easier for me to avoid or to pretend that something is not wrong. I then ignore the truth because I rehearse thoughts in my head such as, “Lord I’m just too hard to fix. I’m just too messed up.” That’s like us walking around knowingly with a booger in our nose and then someone telling us, “Hey you know you have a booger in your nose right?” Then we respond, “Yea I know, it’s just too much work to get it out.” Lol How silly do we look? How foolish? I’m exaggerating on purpose to help me and you see how ridiculous some of our thinking is and how silly the excuses we try to give God are. What may seem impossible to us, is always possible with God.
What God is helping me see is that, “fear” or “avoidance” or “apathy,” does not excuse our responsibility to do what we know is right to do.
If we desire to obtain beautiful Christ-like character it takes COURAGE and CONSISTENCY. Most importantly, if we desire to be refined spiritually to be more like that of Christ, we must first be willing to CONFESS those areas in our life and heart that are spiritually “out of place.”
Remember the 3 C’s:
Christlike Character = “Courage, Consistency, & Confession.”
You see the Word of God is powerful. Hebrews 4:12- “For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.” It cuts right to the core of us. It cuts through every excuse, every thought of denial, every lie, every fake facade. IT gets to the truth, the real, nitty-gritty ISSUE OF THE HEART. The Word (our spiritual mirror) will show us our own self-righteousness, greed, hypocrisy, jealousy, discontentment, negativity, lack of faith, dishonesty, sexual immorality, hatred, laziness, lack of forgiveness, envy and so on and so forth. But you know what? The power that is in the Word is not just in it’s REVELATION but in it’s TRANSFORMATION. You see, the Word of God has REFLECTING power as well as METAMORPHISIS power! When we don’t just LOOK into the Word, but we also DO the Word, it WILL change us for the better. That’s why the book of James says,
“Whoever looks intently…CONTINUES in it, then CHOOSES to do it WILL BE BLESSED in what they do.- James 1:25
Apart from the Word of God, we will NEVER be able to experience true blessings in this life. So, my encouragement to all of us is to LOOK INTO THE MIRROR (THE WORD). But don’t just look one time…. look into the mirror EVERY. SINGLE. DAY….. multiple times a day! Let’s allow the TRUE MIRROR (The Word) to reveal us and then transform us into the likeness of Christ. We must allow the mirror to reflect the truth of who we are, so we can better refine ourselves to reflect the truth of Christ in our lives. Why? Because to be like Christ is the ULTIMATE goal in life and the ULTIMATE beauty of this life. So be encouraged my friend and remember to keep looking into the mirror.
Great blog Ashley! A really great theme as we enter the new year!
“LOOK INTO THE MIRROR (THE WORD). But don’t just look one time…. look into the mirror EVERY. SINGLE. DAY….. multiple times a day! Let’s allow the TRUE MIRROR (The Word) to reveal us and then transform us into the likeness of Christ.”
Thank you so much! To God be the glory!
So very true.