Hear and Do: Face Work

“Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like a man who looks at his face in a mirror and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like.” (James 1:23-24)

Have you ever noticed that most guys look at themselves in mirrors differently than girls do? Girls – at least those who wear makeup – get a look on their faces when they look into a mirror like they’ve got a job to do, like an artist touching up a painting (or a construction worker cleaning up a job site, depending on the girl’s view of herself). The mirror is a work surface that reports back to them what needs fixing or what’s still in good shape.

heardo_350We guys are different animals. In fact, we’re a little like animals. We tend to glance at ourselves in the mirror with no more interest than we notice someone across a crowded room – or we stand there making faces at ourselves for 15 minutes. Mostly, we use the mirror to convince ourselves that we still look good or to obsess about an irreparable blemish. We don’t really expect to come away looking any better than when we got there.

James built a mirror metaphor. He said someone who hears God’s Word but doesn’t make any changes to his life is like a person (usually a guy) who is not interested enough in his reflection to remember it five minutes later. We should approach God’s Word to see what needs fixing in our lives, not just to convince ourselves we’re still okay.

Think: How does your use of the Bible compare with your use of mirrors?

Pray: Ask God to help you come to His Word with a willingness to go to work on whatever it shows you that needs changing.

Do: Watch some people look at themselves in mirrors this week.