Most of us look in the mirror at least once a day. It isn’t because of our vanity, necessarily. We probably just want to look “presentable” when we go out or to see if everything is in the right place.

            Sometimes, a mirror reveals more than we want to know! It may reveal a flaw in our looks or it may show us a feature about our physical features that we don’t like. When that happens, we worry and fret trying to correct that in order to look just right.

            In James 1:22-25, we read: “But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks intently at his natural face in a mirror. For he looks at himself and goes away and at once forgets what he was like. But the one who looks into the perfect law, the law of liberty, and perseveres, being no hearer who forgets but a doer who acts, he will be blessed in his doing.” (ESV) James tells us that looking into the word of God is like us looking into a mirror. That may be one reason so few people read their Bible! Sometimes, it reveals more than we want to see. Inside of the Bible is the image of what God wants us to be. But, since that image doesn’t match up to what we are, we tend to put it aside. None of us like to admit we’re wrong about anything or less than the image we see. That image in the mirror can be troubling.

God does not ask us to look at ourselves in the mirror merely to see what we look like. Notice that James refers to the one who looks in the mirror and then goes away without making any changes. God wants us to change! The whole purpose of looking in the mirror of God’s word is to see what is wrong and make the changes necessary. In this case, we are not to get mad because the mirror doesn’t change to suit us, but to change ourselves so that we become the very image of God’s man who is created in righteousness and true holiness. (Eph. 4:24)

As things in our world have changed over the last two years, there is a greater need to look at that mirror in the Bible and see what we are and where we should be. While the nature of faith has not changed, the faith of many people has changed and it is reflected in the low attendance numbers being reported by churches across America. Looking at that mirror should have shown us what needed changing. Instead, it appears we have imposed our image onto the pages of God’s word to fit what we want to see, not what we need to see,

Pick up your Bible and look at yourself. What do you see?


          Gary Knuckles is minister of the Briensburg Church of Christ in Briensburg, KY.