The Mirror Don’t Lie   2 comments

“Therefore, putting aside all filthiness and all that remains of wickedness, in humility receive the word implanted, which is able to save your souls. But prove yourselves doers of the word, and not merely hearers who delude themselves. 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 will be blessed in what he does.” — James 1:21-25

I was reminded of this passage as I was reading through Matthew 18. In that passage, there is story of a king who has a guy that owed him 10,000 talents. (Based on my rough, very rough, calculations, I think that could be the modern day equivalent to somewhere around $2 billion.) This guy begs, asking for patience, “and I will repay you everything.” The king, however, sees the guy in such a humbled state, so he has compassion and takes it a step further by completely forgiving the guy’s debt. He isn’t just given extra time to pay off a ridiculous debt, but he’s forgiven the entire balance. Then, this guy is walking down the street obviously excited and thankful, and he sees another guy who owed him around $7,000. (My math might be wrong, but it’s consistently wrong–so the numbers correlate.) He starts choking the guy who owes him money and when that guy begs for forgiveness, he had the guy thrown into prison until his family could repay the debt. The original guy ends up going before the king, who heard of this occurrence. The king says, “You wicked slave, I forgave you all that debt because you pleaded with me. Should you not also have had mercy on your fellow slave, in the same way that I had mercy on you?” The king then throws this guy into prison.

This reminded me of the James 1 passage because, if a Christian is to look into the mirror, he should accurately see that he isn’t anything great to look at. In fact, if we accurately assess ourselves, we should see that there is nothing good within us, but we stand on the shoulders on Jesus Christ… and He alone is our righteousness. Yet, James has to remind us to be doers, not merely hearers. It’s like we get forgiven this huge amount of debt, because our debt to God for the wages of our sins was ridiculous–we forget that we’re indebted to God when we go out and live in sin and without love. We forget who we truly are, and what has been forgiven us, when we are unloving to others and to God.

That story in Matthew 18 should sound ridiculous. How many people would really rack up a $2 billion debt, have the entire debt wiped clean, then go fight a guy for 7 grand??? That’s ridiculous, right?!?! Yet, that’s exactly what it is when we as Christians reflect in our personal times with God that we have been saved from our sins, and then go out into the world to live as if that act of God is inconsequential. It doesn’t matter if you know, if it doesn’t change who you are and how you live.

So, although we are never going to be justified by our works, our works and our acts and our lives should reflect the change in our hearts. Christians aren’t going to be perfect, but Christians should have a heart that long to follow Christ. So… remember that image in the mirror. It reflection should show a person who has nothing to boast about but Christ alone. Then, go out, and live in light of that reflection.

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Posted March 18, 2010 by Mitchell J. Kim in Uncategorized

2 responses to “The Mirror Don’t Lie

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  1. Amen. brotha! Love your posts man. Praise God for your giftedness. Know that I am both blessed and stirred to action by this today!

  2. Thanks Mike… I’m pretty sure you’re my only reader. Next, I will write a profile on Mike Ling. 😀

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