…like a man who looks at his face in a mirror and … goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like. James 1:23-24
You know the familiar story of Snow White, in which the vain queen looks at the talking mirror for confirmation that she is the fairest one of all. James uses the analogy of a mirror. He says that a person who looks into the mirror of God’s Word with its description of the Christian life and then leaves the mirror to live otherwise has a worthless religion. Note several dishonest ways we look into the mirror of God’s Word.
We sometimes use the self-righteous look. Like the queen in Snow White we puff ourselves up with pride, consider ourselves perfect, and use makeup to cover our moral blemishes.
At times we employ the judgmental look. We hold the mirror up to other people and let it expose all their sins and shortcomings. By comparison we decide that we live relatively decent lives.
On other occasions we give the mirror a religious look. We compartmentalize our life. We admit certain church sins, such as poor attendance, inadequate volunteer service or financial giving, but refuse to let the mirror show us any faults in the areas of our job and family life.
But James insists on an honest look into the mirror of God’s Word. Confessing all the dishonest looks, we see ourselves in the light of God’s law. The mirror exposes our sin and rebellion. Then we look again into the mirror and see Jesus Christ, who led a perfect life and died on the cross to pay for our sins. We look at the mirror a final time and see ourselves with Jesus Christ inside. God looks at us and sees Jesus. Therefore He declares us righteous.
Mirror, mirror on the wall, who’s the fairest one of all? Jesus Christ – through Him we can live radiantly each day.
PRAYER: Dear Jesus, help me to look honestly into the mirror of Your Word so that, repentant, I may see Your forgiveness and live obediently for You each day. Amen.
(Devotions from “My Daily Devotion” by Dr. Stephen J. Carter, copyright 1988 CPH. All Rights Reserved. No part of this publication may be printed, reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without prior written permission of Concordia Publishing House. For ordering information, please contact CPH at 800-325-3040 or visit www.cph.org.)