Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger; for the anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God. – listen well, remember anger can be very counter-productive!
Therefore put away all filthiness and rampant wickedness and receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls. – You know what is evil, shun it altogether. Instead read and practice what God commands.
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. What good is looking in a mirror and seeing changes which need to be made but then doing nothing about it. If you men need to shave then shave. Likewise only hearing God’s word but not living it is stupid. We don’t have to follow the old law of Moses, we are, under Christ, liberated to do the will of Jesus. We don’t earn salvation by obedience, we show our new relationship with God by joyful service!
If anyone thinks he is religious and does not bridle his tongue but deceives his heart, this person’s religion is worthless. Religion that is pure and undefiled before God the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world. – A pure heart, a controlled tongue and an accurate self assessment is advocated here. What sort of affliction do orphans and widows have that they should be ‘visited’? Think about it, but I think financial help and loving relationship support lead the list!
Prayer: Help me not to think that I’m righteous, but with Your help to be truly good.
One thought on “James 1: 19-27….Look in a mirror, see and act.”
Thank you Barry for your comments on this passage. Being angry is definitely counter-productive. The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, forbearance, and are an antidote to anger. The orphan has lost a father, a widow has lost a husband. When James wrote this, the ancient world did not offer help to those who had lost the “bread winner” in a family. There were no social services provided by the Government. So part of Christian service was to help and minister to those who found themselves in this position. Today, there are many Governmental departments who offer help to these groups of people, but this does not stop Christians from also helping. Just thought I’d share a few things which I had in my mind. God bless you.