Tag Archives: James 1

Forgetful Remembering

Knowledge is of no value unless you put it into practice. ~Anton Chekhov

I have a pair of green leggings with purple and gray flowers. I love those leggings, so soft and comfortable. I would really like to have several shirts that match so I can spend days in the pants unnoticed.

But every time I go to the store to buy some tunics or over-sized shirts, I buy the wrong color.


Because in my mind’s eye the pants are yellow with purple flowers.

What is it that blocks my mind? I think it is a pair of stirrup pants I had in high school that were pink and yellow. Even now, sitting here in white and pink pjs writing about green, purple, and gray pants — they are yellow.

One of the New Testament authors warns of this crazy phenomena. He makes a ludicrous statement that sounds impossible.

” . . .he is like a man who looks intently at his natural face in a mirror. For he looks at himself and goes away and at once forgets what he was like.” James 1:23b-24 ESV

How could you ever stare in a mirror and then forget what you look like? James says it happens by looking at God and his Word and then walking away from it until you chance to look again. The time in-between is empty, thoughtless time filled with the wrong memories.

God tells us to care for those less fortunate than ourselves, so you spend the last of the paycheck on a splurge of popcorn and a movie. Not such a  bad thing until you realize that the bulk of the paycheck was spent on restaurants and credit card bills.

God tells us to comfort the sick and visit the prisoners. So you comfort your children and visit the zoo.

He says pray for your enemies, and you pray that they get slugged upside the head.

Be content is translated give me more contents.

Love your neighbor becomes lie to your neighbor.

And your green leggings are now yellow.

The answer to such ridiculous confusion is found in the verses all around our mystical 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 who looks intently at his natural face in a mirror. For he looks at himself and goes away and at once forgets what he was like. But the one who looks into the perfect law, the law of liberty, and perseveres, being no hearer who forgets but a doer who acts, he will be blessed in his doing.” James 1:22-25 ESV

The mirror is the Word. When you look at Jesus, when you read the Bible, you see what you are supposed to be AND do. Without the “do” part it’s all too easy to forget what you should be.

Are your green pants yellow?

Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet. John 13:14 NIV