How silly it would be to get up in the morning, look in the mirror, and do nothing. The mirror shows us what we need to fix. If we do not look in it or respond to what we see, we will be unchanged.
James 1:22-25 says, “But become doers of the Word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves. For if anyone is a hearer of the Word and not a doer, he is like a man studying his natural face in a mirror. For he studied himself and went his way, and immediately he forgot what he was like. But whoever looks into the perfect Law of liberty and continues in it, he is not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work. This one shall be blessed in his doing.”
The Word of God is to us a mirror, showing us what needs to change. If we read it, see ourselves by its standards, and then walk away unchanged, we are like a man that doesn’t even know what he looks like. A wise person looks into the mirror of God’s Word, says ‘I see how I need to change’, and takes action to do so.
Although there is no set method to guarantee change, I would like to provide you with some tools that may assist you as you seek to read the Word and be transformed.
Seek to know the meaning of the passage.
When you approach Scripture, expect God to speak to you. God gave us His Word for teaching, reproving, correcting, and training. As we read it, He will speak to us accordingly. The Holy Spirit lives in us and will guide us in understanding. Start all Bible study by asking Him to speak to you through the passage.
Immerse yourself in the passage. Imagine you are the characters in the narrative. Imagine how they felt, why they responded as they did, and why they said what they said.
What similarities do you have with these people?
How would you have responded in this situation?
What would you have done differently?
Seek to understand what the passage teaches about God.
What is God saying?
What is God teaching?
What does the passage teach about God’s will and ways?
Have you seen God act in a similar way in your life?
Once you understand what God is teaching about Himself, you need to see how He is leading you to change.
Conform to what you have learned. Prayerfully, ask the following questions:
How can you be more like God in this area?
What does the passage teach that you should or should not do?
What is the Holy Spirit saying to your heart as you read the passage?
Is there a promise God wants you to believe?
Is there an attitude God wants you to change?
Is there an action He wants you to take?
Once you have discerned how the Holy Spirit wants to use this passage to transform you, you need to form a plan. Without a plan people rarely change. Make sure your plan includes some way to measure how you are doing. Keep a chart of your obedience. Several New Testament passages talk about people’s need to examine themselves: 1 Corinthians 11:28, 2 Corinthians 13:5, and Galatians 6:4. When you examine yourself, you are faithfully looking into the mirror of God’s Word and making the appropriate adjustments.
You may also need to set up a system of rewards. While the ultimate reward is knowing that you are becoming more like Jesus, tangible rewards will help you celebrate the small victories along the way. Make your reward small but meaningful; buy yourself a devotional book or spend a few extra minutes relaxing. A little reward can go a long way to encourage yourself to keep moving forward in transformation.
Find an accountability partner. Victory is often gained with the help of others. Having someone ask you how you are doing is great incentive to keep making changes. Your partner may also be able to give you ideas of how to implement your behavioral changes.
God’s Word will change your life when you allow yourselves to be transformed by it through the power of the Holy Spirit.
What tips do you have for applying the Word to your life?