For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks at his natural face in a mirror; for once he has looked at himself and gone away, he has immediately forgotten what kind of person he was. But one who looks intently at the perfect law, the law of liberty, and abides by it, not having become a forgetful hearer but an effectual doer, this man will be blessed in what he does.
I tend to think more highly of myself than others think of me. A lot of people would argue with me, I think. “But you know your own faults,” they would say. Right. And somehow I still manage to think I’m a good person. Scary.
It’s funny to me that I spend 20 minutes every morning making myself presentable, generally in front of a mirror. By the time I’m finished, I know exactly how I look. But throughout the day, things change. I eat lunch. I get a little windblown. And every time I look in a mirror, it seems like there’s a little something that could be taken care of.
I don’t live life this way, though.
It’s because I don’t have a constant image in my head of what I really am. I forget . . . and tend to think that I’m doing ok.
Sometimes, I don’t even pay attention to those “mirrors” of life. There have been times when I’ve just ignored them because I feel like there’s too much to correct . . . I don’t have enough time to do it all. So what is this constant mirror that I can have? Well, James says that I need to study the word and do it. Hearing it will produce a life reminiscent of someone who looks in a mirror and sees some stuff that needs to be taken care of, but as soon as he walks away forgets the problem.
Elizabeth Elliot shares a similar thought in her book Trusting God in a Twisted World. She muses on the fact that people passing by store windows are interesting to watch—their posture always changes for the better because they want the image they see to match up to the image they hold in their mind. “What is it that makes us preen, recoil, laugh? It must be the degree of incongruity between what we thought we were and what we actually saw” (p. 34).
Only when I see what I am can I begin to correct it to become what I know I should be. And the only way to do that is through seeing the image of my Savior.