For if any be a hearer of the word, and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a glass: For he beholdeth himself, and goeth his way, and straightway forgetteth what manner of man he was.
Why do we look in a mirror? Usually to check and see if we look okay, to see if all is in order with the way that we look. Don’t we also do more than just look? If we look into that mirror and find things which are wrong, we normally take action to repair them, correct?
If a person looked into a mirror and saw that they were just totally messed up and just said, “okay, cool” and walked away then what was the point of even looking in the first place?
God’s Word is like that. When we read it, it becomes our mirror to show us if we are in order or if we are in disarray. It provides us with a reflection of our conduct and if our conduct is what God would like to see in our lives. We learn this clearly in Galatians 3:24. The Law never saves us; it just teaches us where we are failing. The Law is our mirror.
If all we do is look in a mirror, see what is wrong and walk away what have we gained? All we have gained is knowledge. “Well, I know my hair is a mess..great!” That’s absurd, really. We would never do that.
Why then, would we do that in response to God’s word? That is the lesson James is teaching us here. Just like looking in a real mirror, looking the the mirror of God’s Word should cause us to change. We should walk away from it prepared to do something, not just see that something is wrong.