Have you ever looked in a mirror and then forgotten what you look like, it’s fairly unlikely isn’t it? Although I do often forget to shave. In this passage James tells us that to hear teaching and guidance from God and then ignoring it is like looking in a mirror and forgetting what you look like. What does he mean?
Well, God, and therefore His word (the Bible), should be so central to us and how we live, that its like it’s part of us, part of who we are, our identity because of Jesus. James even says God plants his word in our hearts. That’s why he describes forgetting about something that God says through the Bible as though we’re forgetting what we look like, it’s forgetting a vital piece of who we are.
This doesn’t mean we have to do lots of things as soon as we hear something from the Bible, but we should be thinking about them, what it tells us about God and what it tells us about how we should live.
So something think and pray about and put into practice are the pieces of advice James gives about not being quick to anger, and how true “religion” is to help the poor and oppressed, think about ways you can do that in your life.
I know it’s not always easy to hear, remember and apply things to our lives. But it really does help us. So try praying before you read this passage and any passage of the Bible, that God would make clear to you what you can take from it, what you can know and what you can do. And then pray after that it would stay in your mind. Because if God is important to us, then his teaching should be too.