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. James 1:23-24 ESV
A few weeks ago I shared how on the farm I needed a flashlight to find my way out to the barn and how that is like God’s word being a lamp for our path. But sometimes God’s word also shows us some things on the inside of us that really aren’t so great. That reminds me of a recent incident coming into the bathroom in the morning and switching on the light. Suddenly I saw perched on the lip of our brand new sink, the biggest ugliest palmetto bug ever! It didn’t take more than a few seconds for me to usher our uninvited guest into eternity and thankfully though I looked high and low he hadn’t brought along any friends or relatives! Now you would think it pretty strange if I had simply switched off the light and gone back to bed. You would probably say, “That’s disgusting! You’ve got to kill that critter!” But I could reply. “Yeah but it’s so much easier to just go back to sleep.”
Now that’s a funny story and even if I thought going back to bed was an option, my wife would never let me get away with it. So let’s ask ourselves today, how often do we wake up in the morning, read our Bible and decide that flicking off the light seems easier than dealing with the issues it reveals? Now I admit that, the spiritual solutions to straightening out relationships, telling someone we’re sorry or paying back an overdue loan from a friend are all much more painful than getting rid of a palmetto bug. But James encourages us in the following verse that if we take action, God has a special blessing in store. Jesus doesn’t just leave us on our own to do all the spiritual bug squashing . Instead He comes along side with his Holy Spirit to show us what to do next. We must never forget to be thankful for the blood of Jesus that forgives our past sins. But we must also remember that God wants to shine His word in our hearts, so that as we walk up His pathway we can live a life for Him with the light on, both on the inside and out!
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. James 1:25