30 Days in the Bible, Day 19: James 1:22-25
The way we see ourselves in our mind is seldom the same way we see ourselves in the mirror. I like to think that I look very much like I did about 15 years ago, but when I look in the mirror I see my father staring back at me. The truth is I don’t have a very good idea of my appearance in my memory, and that’s probably true for most people.
The same thing happens when we look at ourselves spiritually. It’s easy to focus on what we have done that is good, while minimizing our sin. We may tend to think of ourselves as better than we really are. On the other hand, some people are so conscious of particular sins that they begin to see themselves as worthless and not deserving of forgiveness. Both of these are distorted images of who we are.
That is why James encourages Christians to constantly look into God’s Word for an accurate reflection of who we are. In the Bible, we see that we are sinners, unworthy of heaven, but that through the grace of Jesus Christ we have been made right with God. We see that we are forgiven, not because we are worthy, but because Jesus sacrificed Himself for us on the cross and gave us forgiveness through faith in Him. We are neither perfect saints nor are we hopeless sinners. Through Christ we are sinners saved by grace, united with Him and always seeking to become more like Him.
This passage can tie in with what we saw yesterday about memorizing Scripture. With God’s Word hidden in our heart, we always have a mirror available to show us who we are. It’s a little like the way many women carry around a small compact mirror to check on their hair and makeup. We can check up on our spiritual condition by holding up passages from the Bible that speak to whatever we may encounter in our lives.
By reading, studying, and meditating on God’s Word, while committing more and more of it to memory, we will have an accurate picture of who we are in Christ, how we relate to our heavenly Father, and how we can live in a way that please and honors Jesus. As we allow the Holy Spirit to teach us through the Word, we will grow more like Christ, and as we grow more like Him we will be able to show Jesus to those we encounter every day.