How to Use the Bible Like a Mirror
By Rick Warren
“Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like someone who looks at his face in a mirror and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like” (James 1:23-24 NIV).
When was the last time you looked in a mirror? You probably look in one every day—maybe even multiple times! Why do you look in a mirror? You use it to evaluate yourself. And then you do something about what you see.
The Bible says that God’s Word is like a mirror: “Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like someone who looks at his face in a mirror and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like” (James 1:23-24 NIV).
Just as a mirror reflects what you look like on the outside, God’s Word reflects what you’re like on the inside.
Have you ever seen yourself in the Bible? Hebrews 4:12 says that God’s Word discerns your heart’s thoughts and intents. That’s a reason many people don’t read the Bible. They’re afraid to look into the mirror of God’s Word and see themselves as they really are.
If you’re ready to use God’s Word as a mirror into your own soul, the book of James gives you three practical ways to do this.
First, read it. But don’t just read it casually. Read it carefully, like the person in James 1:25 “who looks intently into the perfect law” (CSB). We all have just glanced into a mirror, walked quickly away, and forgotten all the details of what we’d seen. But God wants us to spend time gazing into the mirror of his Word.
Next, review it. That same verse in James talks about the person who doesn’t just look once into God’s Word but “continues to do so” (James 1:25 EHV). This person comes to God’s Word over and over. Jesus told his followers: “If you continue in my word, you are truly my disciples” (John 8:31 NRSV). And Psalm 119:97 says, “How I love your teachings! I think about them all day long” (NCV).
Finally, remember the Bible. James 1:25 talks about people who, after reading God’s Word, remember what they have heard. Nothing will do more for your spiritual life than developing the habit of memorizing Scripture. Psalm 119:11 says, “Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee” (KJV).
Another way to remember God’s Word is by writing down what God teaches you. Hebrews 2:1 says, “Therefore we ought to give the more earnest heed to the things which we have heard, lest at any time we should let them slip” (KJV). Next time God teaches you something during a sermon or a devotional time, write it down. Give it “earnest heed” so that it doesn’t slip away.
Remember that person who gazes in the mirror and then uses it to change himself? You can be that person when you reflect on God’s Word by reading, reviewing, and remembering it.
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“Perhaps the most important role you can play in the life of a child is teaching them to trust God through prayer. It’s the key to living with hope.” —Pastor Rick
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This devotional © 2018 by Rick Warren. All rights reserved. Used by permission.
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