It is hard to look at the mirror without looking at yourself. We want to know how we look and if everything is in place or not. If something is wrong, it gives us a chance to fix it. It’s a chance to restore our appearance. That is why James’ analogy about looking in the mirror is so wonderful. “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” (James 1:23, 24).
This verse makes us think of the dangers of missed opportunities. Just as a look in the mirror gives us a chance to fix what is wrong with our appearance, a lesson from God’s word that is merely listened to and not allowed to take root in our hearts will soon be forgotten. It will never have a chance to grow and have an influence on our lives. We won’t get the chance to “touch up” that problem, and we won’t get the chance to “restore” our spiritual reflection. We missed it, and we have no guarantee of getting it back. James continues “But the one who looks into the perfect law, the law of liberty, and perseveres, being no hearer who forgets but a doer who acts, he will be blessed in his doing” (James 1:25).
God’s word brings us freedom from sin. Upon our obedience to the Gospel, He fixed us, He gives us new life, and if we do and not just hear, we receive great blessings. The blessings come from doing. We are better when we serve, when we reach out, and when we step out in faith. We are better when we put God’s words in action. When we start living like that, we truly reflect Jesus. When we reflect Jesus, we have never looked better!