“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.”
“‘Why do you call me good?’ Jesus answered. ‘No one is good—except God alone.’”
At some time or another, we’ve all caught a glimpse of our physical reflection in a mirror and winced. Maybe it was a bad hair day, or maybe you were just out of bed. Maybe you had just sweated through yard work or ball practice. Maybe you just came in from the beach. Whatever the reason, though, the result of seeing that image was probably immediate. More than likely, you got to work with a hairbrush, washcloth, make-up kit, or whatever – trying your best to improve what you just saw.
According to James, that same principle is true spiritually – the Bible is like a mirror and the image it reflects is not always pretty. Read James 1:22-25 – James wrote when we look into God’s perfect law – when we hold up His standard and use it to measure ourselves, that the truth of what we see will be life-changing. Do you know what we see? We see our sinfulness and we see God’s goodness. We also see the mark to which God wants us to aspire.
As Christians, our witness to others is two-fold. On one hand, we are called to be people who are pursuing God – that means that our actions matter. We are called to live in a way that brings honor to God – to keep His principles and commands at the front of our mind and to make decisions based on them. When we do this, we stand out from the rest of the world.
But the other part of our witness is our recognition that we will never “arrive.” We will never be good enough to earn salvation. God doesn’t love us because we are good. He loves us because He is good. As we acknowledge that, in front of the world, we point away from ourselves and towards the only One who is actually good.
Why do our actions matter to God?
Why is it important for Christians to acknowledge their inability to achieve God’s standard of perfection?
In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.
for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, …