22 Don’t just listen to the word. You fool yourselves if you do that. You must do what it says. 23 Suppose someone listens to the word but doesn’t do what it says. Then they are like a person who looks at their face in a mirror. 24 After looking at themselves, they leave. And right away they forget what they look like. 25 But suppose someone takes a good look at the perfect law that gives freedom. And they keep looking at it. Suppose they don’t forget what they’ve heard, but they do what the law says. Then this person will be blessed in what they do.
22 But don’t just listen to God’s word. You must do what it says. Otherwise, you are only fooling yourselves. 23 For if you listen to the word and don’t obey, it is like glancing at your face in a mirror. 24 You see yourself, walk away, and forget what you look like. 25 But if you look carefully into the perfect law that sets you free, and if you do what it says and don’t forget what you heard, then God will bless you for doing it. NLT
Two interesting perspectives on God’s word from the NLT and NIRV.
Listening to the word is like looking in a mirror. It doesn’t just reveal who God is, it reveals who I am: Who I am now and who God made me to be.
Seeing who God made me to be (much more like Jesus) is incredibly cool. Only a complete fool wouldn’t want to be that.
But inevitably who I am now falls short of that person who’s like Jesus. But together, God and I are working on that. Jesus did his bit. The Holy Spirit is doing his bit. And I need to do my bit too.
When I stand in front of the mirror and see that my hair isn’t combed, I almost always remember to do the next bit. And I’ve learnt to keep watching while I comb it or it might not end up looking the way it should. Who I am in Christ is so much more important than my hair.
The second is that obedience to the word isn’t hard work, its freedom – freedom to become that child of God he made me to be.
I imagine myself as a prisoner. I’ve been set free. The gaol door is open. I’d be a complete fool to stay in that prison rather than step into my freedom.
I’m so grateful that God is patient with me in my foolishness. But it’s time to leave that foolishness behind and step into the sonship he set me free for.
Written by David Cornell