for once he has looked at himself and gone away, he has immediately forgotten what kind of person he was.James 1:24(NASB)
The first chapter of James is dealing with the subject of trials that are sent by God to strengthen our faith and sharpen our Christian resolve. It talks of temptations that come from the enemy... designed to trip us up or shipwreck our faith. James is teaching that God is the Author of all that is perfect and good and should never be blamed for the problems of life, for He is the One Who makes all things work together for the eternal good of those that are fitting into His plan - and for His own, greater glory.
He describes God as the Father of lights, in Whom is no darkness at all, and explains the role we are called to play in His great creative plan. James links this into a section that discusses the significance of the Word of God - not only in the trials and temptation we face, but in every facet of our daily lives.
James reminds us that God's implanted Word is the key to godly living. It was through the hearing of the Word of God, by faith, that we were saved from the penalty of sin, but it is also the Word of truth that delivers us from the power of sin.
The Word of God is the plumb-line for life and truth and we should be ready and willing to hear His Word and put it into practice. We should become a lovely reflection of God's Word of truth in all we say and do... by putting away every semblance of ungodliness which is rooted in wickedness.
It is not sufficient to know what the Word of God says... or even to believe it is true. The truth of God's Word should be put into practice as we go through life. He likens God's Word to a mirror... and its beauty and loveliness should be reflected in our daily life and put into practice, moment by moment.
We should reflect God's Word in our every-day conduct and language. We should be circumspect in our behaviour and gracious in the words we speak. The complaint James had in this verse... is against those who hear the truth on God's Word but do not act on it by changing their behaviour - professing Christians who know the truth but do not reflect a Christlikeness in their daily life. He likens this to a man who has a fleeting glance into a mirror, but immediately forgets the details of the reflected image he saw.
To know the truth of Who God is and what He has done in our lives without there being a significant change in our actions, attitudes, words, and witness, identifies one that has taken a superficial glance into God's Word BUT, "once he has looked at himself and gone away, has immediately forgotten what kind of person he was."
The Word of God identifies our flaws, faults, and failings, and it provides the means to correct them and live godly in Christ Jesus. An inner change of heart by grace through faith in Him should be translated into an outward demonstration of a changed life that is being transformed into the image and likeness of Jesus Christ - through the power of the indwelling Spirit. But to hear God's Word without a change is described by James as someone who... once he has looked at himself and gone away, has immediately forgotten what kind of person he was.
May we who have been saved from both the penalty of sin and its power in our lives by faith in Christ, be ready and willing to live our lives as unto the Lord.
Heavenly Father, thank You for changing me from a condemned sinner into a redeemed saint - simply by trusting in Christ as my Kinsman Redeemer Who died to pay the price of my sin and rose again, so that I may have life everlasting. Keep me low at the Cross and ready and willing to learn all I can from Your Word and to translate it into godly practice in my daily living. May I be a lovely reflection of the goodness and grace of Jesus for His greater praise and glory. This I ask in Jesus' name, AMEN.