Wherever she has lived, my daughter has always placed a mirror right next to her front door. She calls it her “last chance mirror.” It gives her one last chance to assess herself before she goes out into the world. Rather than take a moment to admire what she sees, Ricki looks to see what she might need to fix. Is there lipstick on her teeth? Breakfast on her cheek? There is no point to look at the mirror, or even have the mirror if she then just walks out the door without following up with the appropriate adjustments.
James, the half-brother of Jesus, uses this analogy in his Epistle.
“But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks intently at his natural face in a mirror. For he looks at himself and goes away and at once forgets what he was like. But the one who looks into the perfect law, the law of liberty, and perseveres, being no hearer who forgets but a doer who acts, he will be blessed in his doing.” James 1:22-25
The Word of God is like a mirror. It is meant to show us God’s perfect and Holy image. It is also meant to show us how we fall short of that image. James reminds us that the point of reading or studying His Word is to be transformed. But, do we look at our sins and say, “Well that is just the way I am—I was born with a temper.” Or, “I am an extrovert, gossip is not something I can control.” Or, “I can’t forgive him, he hurt me too badly.” When we read that we are to take care of the poor, do we then say, “I have nothing to give?” Are we so comfortable with the way we are that we do not want to reflect God’s image? What then is the point of reading the Word at all?
The wonderful thing about God’s Word is that it is “living and active. Sharper than a double edged sword…” (Hebrews 4:12) By the power of God's Spirit, we can apply what we “hear” in the Word and “do” God’s Word to better reflect His image, and receive the blessing of peace that comes from obedience. The mirror of God’s perfect law is not to make us a better version of ourselves, but a closer reflection of God Himself.
But is God’s Word a last chance mirror? After all, the Word of God is available to us each and every day. And yet, there may be an opportunity to “do” something today that may be gone tomorrow. Shouldn’t we regard His Word with the urgency that it may be our last chance to do that thing? Do we want to miss out on the special blessing God has for us today?