Proverbs 6:23 ‘For these commands are a lamp, this teaching is a light, and the corrections of discipline are the way of life’(NIV)
I was booked in at a studio to take some photographs for our Bible School brochure recently and was a bit concerned about how the photos would turn out, since the world of posing and studios was pretty new to me. In response to my concern, my wife casually asked, ‘have you checked yourself out in the mirror?’
Mirror? She must have seen the blank expression on my face because she proceeded to enlighten me, ‘Honey, this is how it works; you stand in front of a mirror and try out different poses. Turn to the left, smile, then the right. Decide on your best side and your most flattering pose. The mirror never lies. Once you’ve worked it out, just adopt the same pose in front of the camera and it’ll come out perfect. Simple really!’
According to James 1:23-24, ‘Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like a man who looks at his face in a mirror and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like.’(NIV) The purpose of looking in a mirror is to see what you look like and make any necessary adjustments. If you notice that your make-up isn’t quite right or your tie isn’t straight, you don’t just smile and walk away, you make the appropriate adjustments! A mirror is not just for looking in, it is a tool to help you recognise where adjustments need to be made.
Verse 22 of the same chapter says, ‘Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.’(NIV) We should not be deceived into thinking that being able to quote a scripture, or share it with our friends is all it takes to stay on God’s path to success and fulfillment. Hearing the word is like looking at your face in a mirror. To stay on His path, we must respond to what we see and make adjustments where necessary.
In Proverbs 6:23, Solomon teaches that God’s word will enlighten our path and show us the way to go but it is the adjustments we make, and our discipline in obeying God’s word that keep us on the path of life. We would consider it ridiculous if a driver ignored the clearly marked lanes on a well-lit highway and turned off into the woods looking for a short-cut. Such a person would be exposing himself to a world of hurt and would probably get arrested in the process! Yet that is what we do every time we ignore the enlightenment we have received from God’s word and insist on doing things our own way.
Do yourself a favour; obey God’s word. Stick to the path of life. The Lord is full of compassion and mercy. His path is the path of peace and joy. You might not like what you see in the mirror but if you start making those adjustments, you will turn out to be ‘the fairest of them all!’