But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed.
We just finished talking about the man who looks into the mirror, the mirror of God’s Word, and does nothing to fix what he sees. This is the man who either just glances at the mirror, or the one who spends time gazing intently into it; in both cases this man just wanders away without any action being taken. That man is merely a hearer but not a doer of God’s Word, deceiving himself.
There is, however, another kind of man. This is the man who looks in the mirror, sees what needs attention, and does the things the mirror tells him need to be done.
The phrase “perfect law of liberty” is an interesting one. Why does James use this phrase? One writer suggests that, because when we obey it, God sets us free. We can be set free by God’s law, or slaves of Satan’s sin. Psalm 119:45 teaches us, “And I will walk at liberty: for I seek thy precepts.” On the other hand John 8:34 says the opposite, “Jesus answered them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whosoever committeth sin is the servant of sin.”
The key here is that, although reading God’s Word is very important and somewhat of a blessing in and of itself, the real blessing comes from the doing of God’s Word, not simply the reading or hearing. Literally translated, the phrase from our passage actually reads, “this man shall be blessed in his doing.”
Do we even bother to look into the mirror of God’s Word? If we look, do we just glance, or do we actually take the time to see our flaws and imperfections? If we see them, do we just accept them or do we make an effort to fix, repair, and prevent them from happening again? Do we want the blessing in our doings? Then we have to be…doing.
Coming up…James gets specific.