James compares God’s Word to a mirror. We see our true selves reflected in it, warts and all.
What if a person looked intently into a mirror, noticed that they had a smear on their cheek or that their hair was standing on end, then went away and forgot what they saw that they could have corrected? I think James is making a joke.
But the Word of God has the same effect on a spiritual level. It shows us how to make corrections in our lives. We gaze into the perfect law, the law that will set us free from our sins and entangling patterns of behavior, and let it change us. We hear it, and then we do it. We make the changes and adjustments the Word shows us we need.
This is not a new problem. God addressed it with Ezekiel generations before James wrote his epistle. “My people come pretending to be sincere and sit before you. You are vey entertaining to them, like someone who signs love songs with a beautiful voice or plays fine music on an instrument. They hear what you say, but they don’t act on it!” (Ezekiel 33:31-32)
God promises that His Word will reveal you. The saying goes, “You don’t read the Word of God so much as the Word of God reads you.” Respond to what the Word reveals about you, and find the blessed life God means for you to have.