“For if you listen to The Word and don’t obey, it is like glancing at your face in a mirror. You see yourself, walk away, and forget what you look like. But if you look carefully into the perfect law that sets you free, and if you do what it says and don’t forget what you heard, then God will bless you for doing it.”
James 1:23-25 (NLT)
So, there I am, having a typical “working for the #1 boat builder in America” kinda morning, got my nose in Paul David Tripp’s book, “Do You Believe?” when I run into this particular statement. “You probably have never been tempted to doubt or debate the accuracy of what your mirror revels to you about you.” Yeah, it made me take pause and wonder how many times I’ve taken my reflection for granted recently. I’ve gone through a season where there were many personal health questions coming up and, anytime I would look at my physical self in the mirror, I’d say, “Yeah dude, you ain’t looking too good either.”
So, I stopped staring into it, unless it was to check my hair, which has also grown longer this season, I probably should shave a little more frequently, should I try to whiten my teeth. ANYWAY…There’s a follow-up statement that Tripp made that tied the moment together, “The same is true of the mirror that is your Bible.” Hmm, interesting point. What has the Bible revealed about me to me while there weren’t any solid answers to my many personal health questions? I mean, I read it daily and it didn’t point to a bad physical heart BUT, like it always does, it reflected a conflicted, spiritual heart and that wasn’t good either.
Then Tripp brings me to a little Q&A, “Why should we celebrate the mirroring function of the Word of God every day and its picture of God’s rescuing, protecting, and redeeming love? Because sin blinds.” I’ve now come to the part of my typical “working for the #1 boat builder in America” kinda morning, where I shake my head in agreement, sorta mutter, “tru dat” to myself, and head over to the Book of Hebrews (well because Tripp referenced it) …
“Be careful then, dear brothers and sisters. Make sure that your own hearts are not evil and unbelieving, turning you away from the living God. You must warn each other every day, while it is still “today,” so that none of you will be deceived by sin and hardened against God.” — Hebrews 3:12-13
I ain’t exactly the most enthusiastic supporter of the current state of the American health care system but, without going into all that mess, allow me the liberty to say that it really tested my faith in ways where I had become rather testy myself. I let that testiness bleed into my everyday with everyone and would only mediate on parts of Scripture that supported (I thought) my lack of faith in the ways of man. HA! Boy was I ever off. My lack of faith, and justification for it, that GOD can use people to save people bubbled up from talking with people that I thought needed to be saved to be used by God (Yeah, go back and reread that).
Jesus spoke on the lack of faith numerous times, and in Mathhew 17:20 He makes the point that if we had a mere kernel of faith, like a mustard seed, we could say to a mountain, “MOVE” and it would, that nothing would be impossible to us BUT, and as some translations go, the suggestion of prayer and fasting comes into play to handle the bigger challenges. You would think that this Freedom Fighter of a writer would be able to stare into a mirror and stand confident in his faith but instead I stood there and said, “My kingdom for a mustard seed.”
I needed to be confronted that I wasn’t doing the right things with regards to my physical being and my heart health. Through that I found out a lot about my theological being and my spiritual heart that I needed to be confronted about as well. The writer of James is absolutely correct is saying, “But don’t just listen to God’s Word. You must do what it says. Otherwise, you are only fooling yourselves.” (James 1:22)
James doesn’t say to cherry pick what works to help you justify you being okay with having little or no faith in what El Elyon can do. It’ll show up in your reflection eventually, you won’t like what you see and neither will anyone else. When we approach the mirror that is The Bible be prepared for the full counsel of God, ‘cos you’re gonna get it. Amen?
Written by Chris Hughes: Chris is a husband, a father, has an education in Biblical doctrine and is a graduate of the Colony of Mercy. He has been a Freedom Fighter contributor since 2008. You can e-mail him at email@example.com.
Think About This: “God is always true; why do we not believe Him? He is always faithful to His Word; why can we not trust him? When we are in a right state of heart, faith costs no effort: it is then as natural for us to rely upon God as for a child to trust its father.” – C.H. Spurgeon