James 1: 22 But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. 23 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. 24 For he looks at himself and goes away and at once forgets what he was like. 25 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.
God’s Word is like a mirror. We look into this mirror by reading the Bible. In the pages of Scripture, God reveals himself and his ways. At the same time, God shows us how we are not living out his Word.
God recently showed me such a view of myself in the mirror of his Word. In Titus 2, I read the beginning portion of verse 3.
“Older women likewise are to be reverent in behavior…”
As I read this verse, a quick memory came to my mind: I had recently gotten a spider bite from working in the garden. It was quite itchy; it swelled up and was magenta in color. Dave wanted me to go to the doctor and have it checked. Of course, no one likes to go to the doctor – including me. Long story short, I went to the doctor and ended up getting 3 shots to help my body deal with the infection.
The picture God showed me of myself through this short portion of scripture was when I was recounting my ordeal with some women at church. I had fun telling the story, embellishing it with hyperbole and drama, ending by exclaiming to Dave in my fabricated story, “I don’t want to go to the doctor. You can’t make me.”
Stop! Is this, as we read in Titus, how an older woman is to be “reverent in behavior?” Is this holy, godly action befitting an older woman who claims to know and love Jesus? Is it the action of an older woman who wants to obey God and live out his Word? Is this the witness I want younger women to see of an older woman loving and submitting to God and to her husband? Absolutely not!
God showed me myself as I looked into his Word, and he showed me how I didn’t meet up to his desire for my actions.
So what was I going to do with this insight? I needed to confess my sin to God. I needed to confess and apologize to my husband for making fun of a situation where he was truly loving me and trying to take care of me. I needed to confess and apologize to the women I spoke to. And finally I need to confess and apologize to anyone who may have walked by me and heard my story.
I thank God for his Word. I thank God for showing me how my actions were in contrast to how he wants me to live as an older woman. I pray he will enable me to live a reverent life for his glory, and for the benefit of the watching church and world.