But be doers of the word, and not merely hearers who deceive themselves. For if any are hearers of the word and not doers, they are like those who look at themselves in a mirror; for they look at themselves and, on going away, immediately forget what they were like. James 1:22-24 (NRSV)
Over the years in my corporate career, I have attended many training sessions to learn new things; new practices, methodologies, and computer software. What I found without exception is that unless I put this new knowledge to use, I quickly forgot what I learned. The more time that passed, the less likely, it became for me to put them into practice. Eventually, it became just another book on my office’s shelf, along with other unused items.
I think this is what James meant by looking in the mirror and immediately forgetting what they saw. We can read the Bible and hear the word of God proclaimed -- both of which are necessary -- but that is not enough. God really desires us to take this word and put it into action. Said another way, unless we live like Jesus, reading and hearing about Jesus does little good.
When we look in our mirror, we see peering at us, a transforming child of God -- yes, works in progress. Keeping that in mind, let's go into the world offering God’s transformative power to others. That cannot be done passively but requires us to be doers.
God of mirrors, you have given us your word. We read it and hear it; please help us proclaim it. Father, as we study ourselves in your mirror, let us be transformed into your beings. Please help us as we carry your image into the world, that our actions may glorify you. Please help us to be doers of your word. In Christ Jesus, we pray. Amen.
What action is God calling you to today? How would he have you use your gifts and talents?