For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a mirror: for he beholdeth himself, and goeth away, and straightway forgetteth what manner of man he was.
There are three reasons we would look at ourselves in the mirror. First, we are concerned about the way we look. Second, we want to make sure everything is still in place. Third, if something does need changing or adjusting, we can see to make the corrections and keep from being embarrassed.
The reflection of our spiritual condition is determined by looking in God’s mirror. His word does not give a false impression or distorted image. It is a reflection of what God wants us to look like, what we look like, and what changes are necessary to save ourselves from embarrassment, guilt, or condemnation.
It is the arrogance of our time which simply leaves God out of how we are to truly look. While we boast of great things, we never see who we truly are in the “mirror.” Therefore, we are unable to really discern what is ultimately good and how to bring it to pass. It only takes a moment to observe the havoc in our world, and to see our lack of “progress” - both spiritually and morally - because we live without reflecting on God’s word.
Centuries ago, a wise man made this observation: “I returned and saw under the sun that the race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, nor bread to the wise, nor riches to men of understanding, nor favor to men of skill; but time and chance happen to them all” (Ecclesiastes 9.11). He further gave godly advice in Proverbs 3.5: “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding.” To fail to take God into account is to commit the ultimate human error. It is also to fall short of our greatest human glory: the reflection of God’s wisdom.
Rather than reflecting upon others to find their faults, we should reflect upon what we ought to be. Paul said, “For we are not bold to number or compare ourselves with certain of them that commend themselves: but they themselves, measuring themselves by themselves, and comparing themselves with themselves, are without understanding” (2 Corinthians 10.12).
2 Corinthians 13.5 states it very well: “Try yourselves whether ye are in the faith, prove your own selves.” The faith that proves us is revealed in God’s word - His mirror. That is the standard of our examination - not the world, style, culture, or friends. Do not let what you see in scripture scare you. Allow it to convert you. It is the only way for us to be justified in the sight of God (Romans 5.1). Look at your reflection in the holy word. If you are interested in how you appear before God, you will make the changes necessary. If you are a Christian, keep looking in the mirror to make sure everything is in the place it should be.