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Weekly Devotionals

Reflections in Our Reflections

22 “But don’t just listen to God’s word. You must do what it says. Otherwise, you are only fooling yourselves. 23 For if you listen to the word and don’t obey, it is like glancing at your face in a mirror. 24 You see yourself, walk away, and forget what you look like. 25 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 1:22-25

On average, how many times do you look in the mirror every day? Varying studies show that men look at themselves in the mirror a little over 20 times a day with women looking at their reflection around 16 times. However, with the option on smartphones having reverse camera angles for the infamous selfie, that number could certainly be exponentially higher.

I believe the bigger reasons we check this many times is either related to vanity or observing the parts of ourselves we are not pleased with. Rarely, however, do we take the time to see ourselves in a way that truly gives deeper self-reflection. Asking ourselves questions like, “Where does my worth really come from?”, “If I’m made in God’s image, can I view myself this way?”, “Why does it matter so much to me what other people think according to my outward appearance?”

Another big reason we find ourselves back at a mirror throughout the day is because, as the verses suggest, we glance and see ourselves, walk away, and forget what we look like. (It’s kind of comical when you think about it.) But these verses are talking about a much deeper reflection here, aren’t they?

For when we glance in a mirror, we cannot take the purpose of our visit with us, but only in fleeting memory. As James writes, this is the same as listening to God’s word and doing nothing. God’s word was not shared with us throughout history as entertainment (though it is very entertaining across all genres), but as a way to communicate to us the character of God and how that has played out through His redemptive work through His people and ultimately, through His Son, Jesus.

And Jesus is the “perfect law that sets us free” here. Every opportunity we have to listen to God’s word through our personal reading, Sunday sermons, podcasts, life groups, PRS, etc, then we have every opportunity to take those seeds and make sure they are being planted in the fertile soil of our hearts. Because, if they have truly taken root, they will blossom, grow fruit, and multiply God’s perfect law through Jesus.

So, next time you take a look at your reflection (whether it be the 16th or 23rd time of your day), reflect on the inward work of how God’s word has taken action in your life. And when you walk away, may that work remain.