Can you imagine a world without mirrors? How about just a house without mirrors? What about a bathroom without mirrors? How many times a day would you say you look at yourself in a mirror? Of those times, how often do you change your appearance in some way after seeing yourself? My guess is that most of us would have to admit that a look in the mirror more often than not results in a change in our appearance.
James 1:22-25 likens the Bible to a mirror. “Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like someone who looks at his face in a mirror and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like. But whoever looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues in it—not forgetting what they have heard, but doing it—they will be blessed in what they do.” The difference between a mirror and the Bible is that the mirrors in our house are there to reflect our physical state of being and how it needs to change, while the Bible is meant to reflect our spiritual state of being and how it needs to change.
I’m pretty sure that if you peered into a mirror and your face looked like one of the face below, you would make some changes before going to school, or work, or to the mall.
A few years ago I got sick. After dragging myself around for a few days and starting to feel some soreness in my stomach area, I got out the medical book and diagnosed myself with appendicitis. I could have just ignored it. If I had, you probably wouldn’t be reading this today. Rather than ignore a serious physical ailment, I did what most men would do. I didn’t tell anyone else. I just got in the camp truck and drove myself 150 kilometers to the hospital and got my infected appendix taken out.
God wants us to use the Bible to change our spiritual state. He wants us to use it to diagnose our spiritual illness which is sin, such as, anger, impatience, hatred, selfishness, greed, self-centeredness and so on. But He doesn’t want us to stop there. He wants us to get spiritual treatment to change so that as we continue to use the Bible as a spiritual mirror for our lives, we will begin to see love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness and self-control. In other words, studying the Bible should result in us increasingly loving and living like Jesus loves and lives.