The spiritual mirror

The spiritual mirror

James exhorts us to be doers of the word, and not hearers only. What does that mean?

2 min ·

“But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. 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: 22–24.

The mirror’s job is to show us our shortcomings, but what good is it to see a smudge on your face if you don’t do anything about it? You just walk around with the smudge until others start commenting on it. Now the question is how I use the spiritual mirror of God’s word. When I read or hear God’s word, I am looking in a mirror. I see my own human nature, my pride, my selfishness, and my rigidity. What do I do with that?

“Since you have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit in sincere love of the brethren, love one another fervently with a pure heart ...” 1 Peter 1:22.

Of course, this requires an inner cleansing, just as I have to remove the external smudge that showed up in the mirror. Why do people forget to purify themselves? Probably because they are far too superficial and indifferent.

“Take heed to yourself and to the doctrine. Continue in them, for in doing this you will save both yourself and those who hear you.” 1 Timothy 4:16. By comparing my own life with the doctrine, the word of God, I will find a discrepancy or something of my own nature that needs to be brought into the death of Christ. We are exhorted to continue doing so. This must mean that I must continually look into the mirror of the word and cleanse away the blemishes that are brought to light. “For if you live according to the flesh you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live.” Romans 8:13. This is a lifelong process, but the promise is that we will live. First the rapture, then the Millennium, and then for all eternity on the new earth.

When God’s word dwells in us richly, we get to see ourselves from all sides. We then have ample opportunity to participate in a deeper cleansing. We can then receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save our souls. (Colossians 3:16; James 1:21.)

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This article has been translated from Norwegian, and was first published with the title “Det åndelige speil” in the periodical Skjulte Skatter (Hidden Treasures) in December, 1986.
© Copyright Stiftelsen Skjulte Skatters Forlag | ActiveChristianity

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Scripture taken from the New King James Version®, unless otherwise specified. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.