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. James 1, verse 23 and 24.
I’ve been a believer for most of my life. There were a few years, when I was young and impetuous, when I didn’t actively practice what I had been raised to believe. I was openly defiant and felt alone. Several times in life, it seemed like I forgot who I was. These days, I look back and feel thankful to have lived through them. Still, even including those years, I can’t think of a time when I didn’t at least acknowledge that God was real, that He had a Son who died for me, and that He had a purpose for my life.
And yet how many times have I said one thing and done another? I can’t tell you how many times I’ve written even these words and then said or done things during the day that were completely contrary to them. Please understand, I say this to explain, not to excuse. There is no excuse for writing one thing in this blog and another thing on my Facebook page. There is no excuse for talking about being controlled and reverent for Jesus, and then acting in ways completely opposite to that.
There’s just no excuse but I’ve made them. It’s as if I had immediately forgotten what I looked like. Have you ever done that? The apostle James seems to understand the idea; perhaps he did. Is that so hard to comprehend? How would you have liked to grow up in the same house as Jesus. You knew he was different and that He was God but He was also just your big brother. Wouldn’t James have felt a bit, shall we say, inadequate?
How amazing is it, then, that he overcame whatever he may or may not have felt to share these words with us. James is taking his advice to ‘do what the word says’ a bit farther. The really miraculous thing about it is that this speaks to a miracle of the word. Not only does it motivate: it changes. The Word of God is powerful enough to make us forget the troubles of this world and then to overcome them. It’s powerful enough to impart wisdom and forgiveness while washing clean the memory of unwise foolishness. Jesus’ Word is powerful enough to help us actually turn from those things that confuse and cloud us. Even those of us who openly profess belief sometimes fall away from the true path.
Jesus, help me to stay on Your path. Help me to always remember where You have me in this life and why.
Have you ever forgotten who you were, where & what you were all about?
Do you ever feel distant from God or confused?
When was the last time you prayed with Jesus and asked Him to help you through this?