“Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. 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. But whoever looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues in it — not forgetting what they have heard, but doing it — they will be blessed in what they do.” (James 1:22–25 NIV)
James likened the Word of God to a mirror into which we can look and see ourselves as we actually are. It is impossible to overstate how important this is. Accurate diagnosis always precedes effective cure. You only know that the temperature of your body is too hot because you have a measuring instrument (called a thermometer). You only know that the board is too short because you can place it against a measuring instrument (called a tape measure).
The Bible is God’s ultimate measuring instrument. It is meant to function in each of our lives as a spiritual tape measure. We can place ourselves and our relationships next to it and see if we measure up to God’s standard. God’s Word is one of His sweetest gifts of grace, and open eyes to see it clearly and an open heart to receive it willingly are sure signs of God’s grace as well.
— Adapted from Paul Tripp