Who’s Staring Back?

The words of the Lord are pure words:  as silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times.  Psalms 12:6

Photo by John Robertson

In ancient times silver was purified in a hot furnace.  The metal was put into a clay container and heated to extreme temperatures.  As the metal got hotter the impurities would float to the top, at which time the refiner would skim them away.  This was done many times over until the refiner could see his reflection within the silver. Once he saw his reflection he knew the silver was pure.

How fitting for David to use this analogy in his comparison to the the word of God!  Just as silver that’s heated 7 times is pure, so stands God’s word.  Just as the refiner see’s his reflection in the silver, so can we see our reflection in God’s word.  James, the brother of Christ, uses a similar analogy; “For if anyone only listens to the Word… he is like a man who looks carefully at his [own] natural face in a mirror… observes himself, and then goes off and promptly forgets what he was like.” (James 1:23-24)  

In this scripture, James is saying, the word of God is like a mirror, and when we look into it we will see the reflection of our true selves; whether it be good or whether it be bad.   Therefore, we should look and look often, to see if our lives…the things we do, the things we don’t do…are in accordance to His word.  

James continues his analogy in verse 25 by saying, when the man sees his flaws in the mirror and makes the needed adjustments, then that man becomes a “doer of the word” and as a result he is blessed.  Jesus conveyed the same concept in his sermon on the mount when he said, “…seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things [your needs] shall be added to you.”  So, Jesus is literally saying, if we seek to “live out” the truths of God and make it of most importance, then the blessings will follow.  

Now, this is not to imply, if we do all that God asks, our lives will be “hunky-dory” and free of problems.  No, it means, He will take care of our needs, we will be blessed, and we will be a blessing to others.  In truth, being a blessing and helping others, is the proof as to whether or not we are sincere in our faith.  James writes, “If those who claim devotion to God don’t control what they say, they mislead themselves. Their devotion is worthless. True devotion, the kind that is pure and faultless before God the Father, is this: to care for orphans and widows in their difficulties and to keep the world from contaminating us.” (James 1:26-27 CEB)  

The motto of my church, receive love…give love…repeat, in a nut shell, sums up true Christianity.  Since we freely receive God’s love, we should freely give God’s love and then repeat the process for as as long as we live.  

God’s word is the mirror reflecting who we are.  We should look to it often and make the necessary adjustments. And so, in closing, I guess the question we all should ask and answer is this:

Who is staring back, when you look into the mirror of God’s word?

My Prayer:  God, show me who I really am.  Show me what I need to change in my life to be more like Christ.  Help me to use my tongue to praise you and to edify others, and forgive me for all times I’ve used it to hurt and cause pain.  Lord, thank you for your free gift of salvation.  I accept your love.  May I daily live in that love, so all those around will be blessed. In Jesus’s name…Amen.  

(A publication of the “Walk Through Psalms” series)

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