But prove yourselves doers of the word [actively and continually obeying God’s precepts], and not merely listeners [who hear the word but fail to internalize its meaning], deluding yourselves [by unsound reasoning contrary to the truth]. For if anyone only listens to the word without obeying it, he is like a man who looks very carefully at his natural face in a mirror; for once he has looked at himself and gone away, he immediately forgets what he looked like.
It has never been enough to simply receive the Word of God but to act upon God’s word with obedience. A person must become a doer of God’s word. James stated that a person without works to back their faith is similar to a person looking into a mirror. Shortly after they stop looking into their mirror they will forget what they look like. This means that they forget who they are and what they stand for. When we stare into our own lives, we choose to see the best parts of ourselves to justify our actions and our attitudes. It is also upon our reflection that we justify not doing what the Bible teaches us to do. However, it is through our faith that we are all called to do good things. If we have faith in God and His word, then we should actively walk out our faith through our actions.
The application of this Scripture in our life is very profound, yet simple. What James was telling his audience is to not look upon ourselves. Do not let our faith in Christ die with us but to show the world our faith in God’s Word by living it. If we can simply look at ourselves through the mirror of the Word of God, we have no choice but to act out our faith. How else can we spread the Gospel but by living our faith and doing God’s will while we still have breath in our lungs? So love someone that is hard to love. Help someone that others do not want to help. Give your time when you do not want to. Submit to your spouses the way the Bible teaches us we ought to. Lead your house and live a life of example and servitude to others. This is what it means to be a doer of God’s word. If we live a shallow life of reflecting on ourselves instead of God’s Word, we only deceive ourselves into being stagnant instead of growing and maturing in God’s Word. This is what it truly means to be a doer of God’s Word.
Now let us pray. Dear Heavenly Father, I pray that everyone reading this message today can get encouraged to be a doer of the Word. I pray that we are all able to put our faith into action. It is only when we can put our faith into action that the Gospel can spread like a wildfire, not only in our hearts but the hearts of those we serve through Christ-like humility. I pray a covering over everyone here today. I pray that if there is anything in our hearts that keep us from being doers of your word that you allow us to have the discernment to fix the problem and leave it at the foot of the cross. In this way, we can act on our faith instead of reflecting on what we once did. In Jesus name, I pray, Amen!