Have you ever looked at someone and wondered if they had by any chance taken time to look in the mirror before they went out in public that day? Maybe it was their “hair style” or the smudges of dirt across their cheeks or simply a disheveled appearance that caused you to wonder what was going on in their life. Perhaps they had looked into a mirror that was blurry and they simply didn’t see clearly their reflection. It is also possible that they stood too far away so that the image was not as helpful as it might have been if they had been closer to it. Maybe they were just in a hurry or distracted by other challenges or limitations. While good mirrors reflect with accuracy whatever is in front of them, the perception of the viewer will determine whether there is anything amiss, out of place, or in need of change.
When James wrote his letter to the believers who had left Jerusalem because of the persecution there, in some ways his letter was like a mirror for them. Because he cared so much for these people, he wanted them to grasp certain realities and to remind them of certain promises and instructions that Jesus had given to His followers before His death and resurrection. He wanted to picture for them how their faith could influence their choices and their behavior. He wanted them to understand that what they believed about Jesus should be reflected in their behavior and their attitudes. He was deeply concerned that their faith would remain strong and vibrant and so he gave them affectionate admonitions – words of encouragement and challenge.
Whether or not you and I want to take the time to look carefully into the mirror of God’s Word is a choice that we get to make throughout our faith journey. There is no better way, however, to discover both who you really are and what the God Who sees you perfectly wants to do for you – every minute of the day.