Tag Archives: hearing the Word

The Mirror

Every morning as I get ready for work I find myself brushing my teeth and glancing in the mirror. The mirror reflects what I look like at that moment. It is the truth. It is real. There is no façade, no clouded view, no distortion. But when I leave the bathroom and can no longer see that mirror image, the mirror is useless to me. It means nothing. My appearance will change throughout the day. Hair will stick up. I might get a scratch from my dogs. One never knows. But the mirror image is useless.

In James we read about self-deception. People hear the word of God and it goes in one ear and then out the other. The Bible says that it’s like someone who looks in the mirror and walks away and doesn’t remember what they look like. What the passage is referencing is how the mirror is useless when we walk away. It means nothing. When people hear the Word of God and walk away without acting upon it, it’s like that useless mirror. It is useless. They are deceived. The word is irrelevant in their opinion and ignored.

James spent the time speaking about self-deception because it is something we all fall prey to if we just take the Word of God and nibble on it but do nothing else. It gets us nowhere. It’s like pushing the gas pedal on a car that has a dead battery. There is no action. When you truly hear the Word of God, you act. You embrace. You love. You live the Truth.

“Don’t fool yourself into thinking that you are a listener when you are anything but, letting the Word go in one ear and out the other. Act on what you hear! Those who hear and don’t act are like those who glance in the mirror, walk away, and two minutes later have no idea who they are, what they look like.” – James 1:22-24 [MSG]

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A New Grip

When you are trying to grip something for a long period of time, you start to lose your grip and need to take a new grip. With my problematic hands, I often need to re-grip items. In Hebrews, the author writes to “take a new grip with your tired hands.” The word “tired” actually can be translated to “paralyzed.”

Why would your hands be paralyzed? Why would your knees be weak? Earlier in the passage, the author speaks of how God disciplines His children. Discipline seems horrible at the moment, but it produces righteousness (v. 11). We do not simply undergo the discipline, but we submit to it and as a result we share in God’s holiness. God disciplines us because He loves us.

The hands were tired and the knees were weak because there was no endurance in faith. They were tired from the burden of sin. They were focused on the world rather than God. They were not looking to the Holy Spirit for help, not being intentional with their faith. When you do not have an active prayer life, you are paralyzed. When you are not reading and hearing the Word (reading your Bible and attending church), you are paralyzed. You cannot do life alone. Today take a new grip. Strengthen those hands and knees.

“So take a new grip with your tired hands and strengthen your weak knees.” – Hebrews 12:12 [NLT]

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