Summary: #6 in the Book of James Series concerning the fact that we must do more than just look into the mirror of God’s Word, but we must be willing to accept what we see and make changes accordingly.
Through the Looking Glass to Pure Religion
#6 in the Book of James Series
By Pastor Jim May
James 1:23-25, "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 his deed."
I’ll bet you looked in the mirror this morning. If you didn’t, don’t worry about it now, because we already know you didn’t. Looking into the mirror can be one of the most depressing experiences of your whole day. In your mind you think that you still look as nice as you did when you went to bed, but when you look into that mirror you think to yourself, “How can I do that much damage in six hours, just laying the bed sleeping?”
But thank goodness that you looked in that mirror because if you hadn’t then you would have subjected every one of us to that terrible sight. You look into the mirror and stand there in shock for a moment and then you realize that it’s time to go to work. You close the door and hang a sign on it that says, “No entry – Construction in Progress”. Then you wash your face, comb the tangled up chicken nest in your hair (if you have hair), cover up the blemishes as best you can, brush your teeth, or take them out of the jar where they’ve soaking all night, put some antlers on your head (Oh, I mean mousse up your hair, and then get dressed up to go out in public.
Suddenly, when you step out of the door, the world gets to see the better side of you, and you can go through the rest of your day without being embarrassed.
And all that is thanks to that old mirror that wouldn’t let you see yourself the way that you though you were.
Let me talk to you for a minute about “Your Mirror, Your Friend.”
A house with no mirrors means you’ll never know what needs to be worked on. Most of us wouldn’t want a house without mirrors. But some of us are trying to live our life without mirrors. Sometimes other people act as mirrors to show us some things about ourselves that we may not want to hear but we really need to hear.
John 8:32, "And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free." Some of us live like the truth will scare us to death or hurt too much. But it can’t hurt nearly as much as avoiding the truth about yourself that there may be some things about you that continues to poison your relationships, limit your life, and bring you down. Sometimes we run from our mirrors or even try to break them. But God put mirror people in your life because He loves you too much to let you keep running from the truth that is costing you so much.
The mirror in your life can be someone who loves you enough to tell you the truth about yourself may be your spouse, or a parent, even one of your children. Sometimes we hear the painful truth from a spiritual leader or a boss or a coworker or a true friend who is willing to stick out their neck to tell us the truth even when it hurts. The Bible says in Proverbs 27:17, "Iron sharpeneth iron; so a man sharpeneth the countenance of his friend."
How you handle the hard truth about yourself tells a lot about your character. In Proverbs 9:8 - 9, God says, “Rebuke a wise man and he will love you. Instruct a wise man and he will be wiser still; teach a righteous man and he will add to his learning”
So what happens when someone tries to show you something that’s bringing you down, costing you respect, hurting you and people you care about? Do you hate them for saying it? Do you continue to live in the land of lies called denial? Do you take off so you don’t have to think about it? Or do you do what a wise man or woman does - you decide to face what they’ve helped you see and deal with it so it won’t pursue you any longer?
The truth you keep running from never really goes away. Everywhere you go, you take you with you. God loves you too much to let you keep running, denying, and living a lie. So He’s put someone in your life to hold up a mirror. Don’t reject what the mirror is trying to show you. And don’t blame the mirror - it’s the message the mirror is trying to give you, not the messenger that’s the issue.