“Do not merely listen to the word…Do what it says. Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like a man who looks at his face in a mirror and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like. But the man who looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues to do this, not forgetting what he has heard, but doing it – he will be blessed in what he does.” James 1:22-25.
Yesterday when my grandson got in the car he informed me in a whisper’s volume that he had gotten a red for behavior that day in his agenda. As you might guess, a red is a very bad thing. It means that the teacher had pointed out her expectations for Carson, and while he listened to her instructions he failed to follow through with them. Let’s just say, that Carson forgot what he looked like in his mirror yesterday. His teacher’s motivation was not condemnation but wanting him to be the best student he could be.
I know that I have been equally guilty of getting reds in my past. I know that God has held up spiritual mirrors showing me attitudes that are not acceptable in His classroom. I have been given red marks before in my spiritual agenda, only to turn the page and walk in my own ways unchanged. This all changed the year my father-in-law with Alzheimer’s lived with us, and I became his primary caregiver. It was a year that God made certain I looked intently into the perfect law and saw unlovely attitudes that I can never forget. It was an image in the mirror that He has thankfully broken me of and shown me new attitudes… purer motivations…boundaries set by Him…freedom from self-imposed captivities.
Like Carson, we all have heard what we should do as Christians and how we should act, but when we walk away from church do we forget the image we are supposed to resemble? Will we look like Christ in the world as much as we do in church? Will we resemble the one He created us to be or will be resemble the world? The word merely means ‘nothing more than.’
Living nothing more than lives is like hanging a sheet over the mirror so we will not see our spiritual image. We will walk in the image and freedom of God when we courageously throw that sheet back and intently evaluate our lives against the perfect law of God.
Do not stop here... You have stopped before putting the icing on this cake. :-) Remember that self reflection may be beneficial; however, self reflection is minimal compared with the perspective Christ has. He is the refiner of the silver that waits for just the right moment. In our surrender to Him, we see so much more than we can reflect on ourselves. Looking at Him allows us to see the meaning behind what He sees in addition to being able to see it clearer. It is in His light that all things become unobstructed.
Good work, just finish it out. :-)