The Backward Glance in the Mirror
James 1:22 “But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves.”
“Don’t just sit there. Get up and do something about it,” was always my mother’s unwelcomed advice. To my dismay, whining to her never achieved the desired result. And, it wasn’t until years later I realized Mother was offering more than just no-nonsense advice. What she was telling me came straight from the Bible, where James instructs his readers to get busy. What both James and my wise mother knew was that as Christians we should be a tribe of “Doers.”
Most every Sunday between classes and worship service at precisely 9:50 am, Mary Nelle and I encounter each other in the church restroom. We always have lots of catching up to do and very little time, so our words are flying. One particular Sunday morning, we headed out the restroom door to make our way to the auditorium, deep in conversation. At the very last second, (and by the grace of God) I did a backward glance in the mirror as I exited. To my horror, the entire back of my skirt was tucked into my waistband! All my business was on display to the world! Mary Nelle kept right on talking as I gasped and pulled us both back into the restroom.
Once the door closed, I whirled around and flashed my near-death experience to Mary Nelle who quickly yanked my skirt from its waistband. We remained in the restroom cackling over the horrific what-ifs of my walking down the aisle of the church building with all my glory on display! And although I am not an advocate of “Church-hopping,” I had to admit this would have been a legitimate reason to change churches, because, I could have never shown my face (nor any other side of me) in our church again!
But, consider for a moment another possible what-if. What-if after seeing my skirt tucked into my waistband, I had chosen to do nothing about it and continued into the auditorium? How absurd! Yet, James 1:23-24 tell us, “Those who hear (God’s Word) and don’t act are like those who glance in the mirror, walk away, and two minutes later have no idea who they are, what they look like.” (MSG)
Or, in the ERV, (Easy Rita Version) “Hearing God’s Word and refusing to do something about it is like taking a backward glance in the mirror, seeing your skirt tucked into your waistband, and doing nothing to fix it!” How absurd!
It is James who offers his readers practical advice for living a bold, faith-filled life. We are reminded that our faith is presented to the world by our good works. We are advised to submit to God so that the evil one will run from us. And, we are encouraged to communicate with God through prayer for a powerful and effective faith-walk. His writings deliver a glimpse of a genuine and victorious life in Christ. So, once we know how that life in Christ plays out, James encourages us to get busy living it out! When Christians become that tribe of “doers,” God is glorified and His blessings are poured out! (vs. 25)
So, Sisters, it’s time we take a backward glance in that mirror. Let’s yank our skirts out of our waistbands, go out into the world, and be doers who glorify Him!
Father God, help me to look into your mirror and make changes in my life that will allow me to reflect your heart.