Saw My Smile! (James 1:22-25)

I saw the reflection of my face on my computer screen. I had a smile from ear to ear and I didn’t even realize I was smiling. I was viewing a performance by a new jazz trio and loving it. I was alone and was completely unaware of the emotions and expressions I was exhibiting. My reflection revealed my true feelings. The experience reminded me of times when I have been filmed. Most of the time, I knew when a camera was recording, and I could control my actions. However, like my experience with my computer screen, when I observed my actions when I was unaware of being filmed, it could be an amusing and, occasionally, a humbling experience. I saw physical mannerisms that betrayed my true feelings. I heard myself saying things in a tone that I would find mildly offensive if spoken to me. The camera doesn’t lie. I was looking in a mirror. 

But don’t just listen to God’s word. You must do what it says. Otherwise, you are only fooling yourselves. For if you listen to the word and don’t obey, it is like glancing at your face in a mirror. You see yourself, walk away, and forget what you look like. 

James 1:22-25 (NLT)

When I look in the mirror, I see my true self. It may be a pleasant experience but many times, I see a disagreeable ugliness. What should be my response? I can ignore it or I can obey God and act upon it. God reminds us through the Apostle James that our actions must be consistent with our beliefs. If we say we love our neighbors as ourselves, we cannot feign this. We cannot give lip service and show a cheerful facade but harbor resentment to the person who hurt us. I still struggle with this, and it is only by being willing to look at the Word of God, the mirror of God’s holy nature, can I continue to repent of my sinful thoughts and actions and seek forgiveness and change through the power of the Holy Spirit. 

Love and trust in the Lord; seek His will in your life.

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