We can change distorted images by simply looking into an accurate mirror that reflects our true image. James 1:23-25 says,
“For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks at his natural face in a mirror; for once he has looked at himself and gone away, he has immediately forgotten what kind of person he was.
“But one who looks intently at the perfect law, the law of liberty, and abides by it, not having become a forgetful hearer but an effectual doer, this man shall be blessed in what he does” (NAS).
If changing a distorted image only required hearing God’s Word, then everyone in church would be transformed into the image of Jesus. However, James gives three important ingredients that contribute to our change. He said we must look intently into the Word, abide in the Word, and be a doer of the Word.
The person who takes a casual attitude at God’s Word is destined to forget what he has seen and, as a result, fails to be transformed.
First, to prevent an inattentive attitude we must look intently into God’s Word. To look intently means we look with purpose and persistence. Second, James tells us to abide or remain in the Word until it permeates our being. And finally, we must act on what we have seen. Without corresponding actions our convictions and good intentions are of little value.
The Apostle Paul also uses the illustration of a mirror to describe the transforming effect the Word has on distorted thoughts. Second Corinthians 3:18 says:
“And all of us, as with unveiled face, [because we] continued to behold [in the Word of God] as a mirror the glory of the Lord, are constantly being transfigured into His very own image in ever increasing splendor and from one degree of glory to another…” (AMP).
From this verse we see that God’s Word functions the same way our mirrors do: they reflect our image. And if you look anything like I do when I get up in the morning, you have your work cut out for you!
When we look into the mirror, the many things we see that need change motivate us into action! We fix our hair, put on makeup, change our clothes and do whatever’s necessary until the image in the mirror is transformed.
The worst thing we can do is to look into the mirror and decide it is hopeless and walk away unchanged.
God’s Word is like a mirror, revealing the things that need to be changed in our lives. We make a grave mistake when we casually look into the mirror of God’s Word and walk away before we’re transformed. We must abide in the Word and do whatever is required until the image in the mirror is changed into God’s very own image.
But be forewarned: One look will not bring about a transformation! Instead, as we continue to look into the mirror, little by little, we will be transformed from glory to glory.