James 1:23-24 | Book of james, Guys be like, Scripture

Have you ever been guilty of looking at others your own age and thinking, "Surely I can't look that old?"  I love this story that has been widely circulated:

I was sitting in the waiting room for my first appointment with a new dentist. I noticed his DDS diploma, which bore his full name. Suddenly, I remembered a tall, handsome, dark-haired boy with the same name had been in my high school class some 37 years ago. Could he be the same guy that I had a secret crush on, way back then?

Upon seeing him, however, I quickly discarded any such thought. This balding, gray-haired man with the deeply lined face was way too old to have been my classmate. Hmmm..., or could he?   After he examined my teeth, I asked him if he had attended Morgan Park High School.  "Yes. Yes, I did. I'm a Mustang," he gleamed with pride.

"When did you graduate?" I asked.   He answered, "In 1967. Why do you ask?"

"You were in my class!" I exclaimed.

He looked at me closely. Then, that ugly, wrinkled old man asked, "What did you teach?"

It's so easy, isn't it, to see the faults in someone else?  We see their wrinkles.  We see their gray hair.  Even more than that, we see all the "specks" in their eyes (Matthew 7:3).  But we are not so quick to notice those flaws in ourselves.

When I was young, I was determined to change the world and make it a better place.  As I grew older, I realized that was an unrealistic goal and re-committed myself to changing the people around me.  I've gotten a little bit older (and grayer).  I still want to try to influence people around me, but I have learned that, ultimately, the only person I can change is me, and there is plenty that still needs to be changed.

James compares reading the Word of God with looking in a mirror:

"But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves.  For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man observing his natural face in a mirror; for he observes himself, goes away, and immediately forgets what kind of man he was.  But he who looks into the perfect law of liberty and continues in it, and is not a forgetful hearer but a doer of the work, this one will be blessed in what he does." (James 1:22-25)

May we truly view the Word of God, not as a microscope to examine the lives of others, but as a mirror to search into our own hearts and lives.

Have a great day!
Alan Smith



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