“For if any be a hearer of the word, and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a glass: For he beholdeth himself, and goeth his way, and straightway forgetteth what manner of man he was. But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed.” (James 1:23-25)
The Word of God is not a magic mirror, but if we seek real truths concerning ourselves, the biblical looking glass can bring great blessing. He who reads or hears the Word but does not believe or obey it is “a forgetful hearer” (v. 25) who is deceiving himself. It is these who merely “behold” themselves in the Word. The Greek word used here for “beholding” and “beholdeth” means “looking from a distance”—standing erect, as it were, while posing before the mirror. The man who “looketh into” the Word, on the other hand, “and continueth therein” being an obedient doer of its work is the one who receives eternal blessing. The Greek word here for “looketh” conveys the idea of intense scrutiny, requiring the one who is looking actually to stoop down in order to see. In fact, it is often translated “stoop down.”
As we allow the mirror of God’s Word to evaluate and correct our lives, “we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord” (2 Corinthians 3:18).
Yet, this is only a token of what we can experience in the future. “For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known” (1 Corinthians 13:12). Now we can see ourselves in the written Word. When we see the living Word, “we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is” (1 John 3:2). HMM