Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.
Jesus, who fulfilled the Word of God and is himself called the Word (John 1:1), set the standard for Christian living. Comparing yourself to anyone else will never give an accurate picture of who God wants you to be.
James uses the example of looking into a mirror but doing nothing to improve our appearance. The kind of mirror James is talking about was not made of glass like our mirrors today. It would have been a highly polished piece of metal, and to get a clear image, you would have to look intently, holding it at just the right angle with just the right amount of light. James explains that we have to look intently into the law of God to see what God wants us to be. Notice that the focus is not on looking at oneself or at anyone else. The focus is on God’s law—the image of the person God wants you to become.
With God’s Word as the standard, says James, we must be doers of the Word, and that means putting God first in all we do and showing Christlike love to everyone around us. It means looking out and caring for people whom everyone else forgets: the most vulnerable, such as widows and orphans, who don’t have others to lean on. It means caring for those who cannot care for themselves.
Who are those people in your community? How can you be a Christlike influence in the world instead of being influenced by the world?
Thank you, Father, for your Word. Help us not only to listen but to do what it says. Amen.
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