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. If anyone thinks he is religious and does not bridle his tongue but deceives his heart, this person’s religion is worthless. Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world. (James 1:22-27 ESV)
Imagine that you are dressed up in nice clothes. Nicer clothes than you have ever worn before and then a friend comes by and invites you to a food fight. You forget you are wearing nice clothes and so you go and end up staining everything. The food fight is over and so are your clothes because even with the best of cleaners your nice clothes are left in such bad shape that they now have become the clothes that you wear to paint in… all because you forgot what you were wearing.
Now it may be hard to forget what you are wearing, but James warns us that it is easy to forget who we are in Christ. When we trust in Christ the bible says that we are a “New Creation” the “old is gone and the new has come.” We are growing to be more and more like Christ. But sometimes we can hear God’s word (Which tells us who we are in Christ) and then go live like we haven’t heard it. We act just like we did before we trusted Christ. But those who “Do” God’s word are those who remember who they are in Christ. Temptation comes and they flee. The opportunity to serve others occurs and they represent Christ. They remember that they were bought with a price. They remember who they are in Jesus.