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  • Shawn Thornton

Bedhead and a Mirror

Friday - January 15th

Devotionals from the Book of James

Scripture to Read Today: James 1:21-25

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


From December 6th of last year to January 10th of this year, I rarely left my house. I seldom engaged online or over the phone with others. During that period of over a month, I was either in the hospital or at home recovering from a severe case of non-COVID-related pneumonia. To all who prayed for me or sent me words of encouragement during my recovery, thank you! You will never know how much that meant to me and how God used your prayers and kind words to give me a speedy and full recovery.


For the first time in my life, I had an extended month-long period where I wore sweatpants, a sweatshirt, a ballcap, and slippers daily. Sometimes, I didn't even wear a hat. Surprisingly, I enjoyed the leisure attire of home. Wearing a suit early this week to a funeral made me long for the comfort-clothes of my recovery period.


Dictionary.com defines "bedhead" in a clear, straightforward way: "hair with an untidy appearance, such as results from lying in bed." Before my recovery downtime at home, if I passed by a mirror and saw that I had "a bedhead," I cared about it. I would stop, comb my hair, and make an adjustment based on what I saw needed correcting in the mirror. During my recent sweat-wearing downtime, I really did not care what I looked like—much to the chagrin of my family. I could look in a mirror, see my hair standing up all over, and it did not bother me at all.


After James talks about obeying the Word of God by simply doing what it says (see James 1:22), he gives an illustration to us of someone who looks in a mirror and then ignores what the mirror reveals. "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).


When we read the Bible and do not do what it tells us, James says it is like someone getting up in the morning noticing as they glance at a mirror that they have bedhead, but they go on with their life doing nothing about it. Unless someone is sick or recovering from an illness, we all would expect that person to take seriously what they see in the mirror and correct what needs correcting.


Like a mirror, God's Word shows us what needs altering in our lives if we are going to live and love like Jesus. Sometimes that means we need to change our attitude, watch our words, or alter our behavior. As we look into the Bible daily, we cannot simply ignore what it says and go on with our lives. That would be foolish.


James says we, as Christ's followers, need to do what the Bible says we should do. How are you doing with that? Is the Holy Spirit showing you through God's Word what needs adjusting in your life, and you ignore Him and go on with your life making no correction at all?


God's Word gives us His expectations - ultimately for us to look like Jesus. Are you ignoring God?

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