“But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. 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. For he looks at himself and goes away and at once forgets what he was like. 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.” – James 1:22-25
James gives this description of a man who hears the Word but doesn’t practice it. He says you are like a person who wakes up in the morning and his beard is grown out, his hair is messed up, he has bags under his eyes, and he’s still got soup on his mustache from last night! Ok, that was way too gross. He glances in the mirror, sees he needs to put his face in shape, but he just goes his way and goes off to work! He forgets what he saw in the mirror. There’s no change—no bathing, no shaving, no combing. He’s just like he was! He glanced in the mirror, saw it, and forgot it.
Notice this verse says one person “looks”—and soon forgets. The other “looks into” and continues—he obeys the Word of God. “Beholding” or “observing” or “looking” means a casual glance. “Looking into” means a careful gaze. It’s the same word used when the disciples raced to the empty tomb, and bending over, they peer into the darkness intently, with eyes set, searching, trying to see everything that they can see. It means to look steadfastly.
That’s the way you’re to look into the Word of God. Not just a casual glance but a steadfast, careful, gazing into the Word and a careful examination of the Word. Look into it, pick it up, read it, study it, scrutinize it.