The Man in the Mirror

by Roy W. Coles, Jr.

"But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves. For if any be a hearer of the word, and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a glass: For he beholdeth himself, and goeth his way, and straightway forgetteth what manner of man he was. But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in this deed" James 1:22-25
Of all of the inventions created by man, none is more unique or as interesting as the mirror. A mirror is unique in that it is able to formulate an image that is identical to the observer. A mirror will only show what it sees and reflects the identical back to the observer.

When I think of a mirror, I think of individuality; for when you look in the mirror, you will see no one but yourself. Too often we spend the majority of our time looking at others when we actually should be looking at ourselves. This is what is so good about the mirror. No matter how hard you look for someone else, you will only see yourself.

When I think of a mirror I think of a revelation. A mirror shows things about your personal appearance that would otherwise be unnoticeable to you.

When I think of a mirror, I think of something that is essential. Imagine with me for a few moments what you might look like if you didn't take time to stop and see what the mirror sees. Many of you will agree with me when I say it would not look very good at all.

When I think of the mirror, I finally see reality. The mirror cannot create, it can only reveal that which already exists. It has no ability within itself to correct or change what it sees. Only the looker can change and/or correct what he sees.

The Word of God is our mirror. Hebrews 4:12-13 tell us:

"For the Word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. Neither is there any creature that is not manifest in his sight: but all things are naked and opened unto the eyes of him with whom we have to do"
Notice that in verse 12 we see that the Word of God is a "discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart". Just as in the natural we see what our natural faces look like when we look into the mirror, our thoughts and heart stand exposed before the mirror of the Word of God.

Jesus in giving the sermon on the mount said,

"Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in they name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity" Matthew 7:21-23
James said that the man who is just a hearer "beholdeth himself, and goeth his way, and straightway forgetteth what manner of man he was". He sees that something needs to be done, but he only "sees" it. People of this type are those who are sitting back waiting for the Lord to make the difference, when the Lord has commissioned us to go out and make the difference in word, deed, and action. Again, we hear many say "I know that the word says...." and yet they just say it.

When you look into the natural mirror and see that something is wrong with your appearance, you will immediately decide upon a course of action to correct the problem. We as the people of God must also decide upon a course of action once we see that something is not right in our lives. The course of action we take should not be decided upon nothing less than the word of God.

Just as I said when I thought of the natural mirror, I thought of individuality, I think the same with the spiritual mirror. When you stand before the Lord, you will not be standing in relation to others, but you will be standing in relation to yourself and the works that you have done in your body. This can be further seen in 1 Corinthians 3:11-15,

"For no other foundation can any man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ. Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble; Every man's work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man's work of what sort it is. If any man's work abide which he hath build thereupon, he shall receive a reward. If any man's work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire."
and 4:5,
"Therefore judge nothing before the time, until the Lord come, who both will bring to light hidden things of darkness, and will make manifest the counsels of the hearts: and then shall every man have praise of God"
The Word of God reveals you just as you are; not your intentions, nor yet even your well wishes, but you as you are.

The Word is truly a revelation because it shows us for what we were, what we are in Christ, and what we shall be if we be faithful to the end. The Word of God will show you every inch of your life that needs correction. Paul stated in 2 Timothy 3:16,17 that

"All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works"
The Word of God will keep you in check by showing you what you need to straighten out in order to be perfect before the Lord. Many are seeking answers to problems that they see in their lives; failing to realize that the same mirror that showed them the problem has given them what they need to solve it. Notice that in verse 16 it said "for instruction in righteousness". The problem is not the instruction, but the ability to act upon what has been given. Going back up to verse 14 we see Paul further instructs Timothy to
"... continue thou in the things which thou hast learned...." 2 Timothy 3:14
The Word of God is essential. In fact it is so essential that our Saviour is heard to say that
"... man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God" Matthew 4:4
The word of God is our "Basic Instructions Before Leaving Earth" as well as enables us to get "Back In Balance, Living Ever More. In comparison to natural exercising, Paul illustrates the importance of godliness in 1 Timothy 4:8,
"For bodily exercise profiteth little: but godliness is profitable unto all things, having promise of the life that now is, and of that which is to come"
Of all of the armour as found in Ephesians 6:13-16, we see the sword of the Spirit being the Word of God. The Word of God is the only thing that will get the devil off of your back. In reading the temptations of Christ, not once did we see Jesus say how he felt about the matter. All he simple did was to use the "it is written" against the devil and he had to flee. The Word of God was that needful and good part that Mary chose in Luke 10:41,42. The importance of the Word of God can be summed up by our Lord in Luke 11:27,28;
"And it came to pass, as he spake these things, a certain woman of the company lifted up her voice, and said unto him, Blessed is the womb that bear thee, and the paps which thou has sucked. But he said, Yea, rather blessed are they that hear the word of God and keep it."
Finally, the word of God does show us a reality. In fact, it shows us two realities -- the present shape that we are in and the future state if we will endure. Remember what we read in Hebrews 4:13?
"... but all things are naked and opened unto the eyes of him with whom we have to do"
or 1 Corinthians 4:4?
"... who both will bring to light the hidden things of darkness, and will make manifest the counsels of the heart...."
We stand naked (or completely exposed) before the word of God. No matter what you say you are, the word of God will show you what you are.

This was the biggest problem of the individual that James speaks of. You may be able to fool me or anyone else, but you will never be able to fool or pull the wool over the eyes of God. 2 Corinthians 3:18 tell us of the future state for those that endure to the end,

"But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even by the Spirit of the Lord."
Glory to God. The day is coming when I shall "totally" be with him and be changed into the same image of my risen saviour. All I have to do is continue to hear the word of God, obey the Word of God and don't forget the word of God -- or continue to increase in the knowledge of the Lord unto all pleasing.

What I see in my life that needs to go shall go. No longer do we want to see that we have a problem and ignore it, but now we want to do something about it. Let us go on to meet the Lord together and strive to make sure that the man in the mirror is doing more than just looking, but changing.