Contemporary English Version (CEV)
Do you ever spend hours staring at yourself in a mirror, only to forget what you've seen once you leave? No? I'm the only one?
What James refers to is the sensation of going to church, listening intently, then forgetting everything you heard as soon as you leave. If the Word of God makes no impact in our lives beyond the moments we're actually reading it, then we need to reconsider our efforts and ensure that when we hear, we obey, so that our lives are transformed by the Holy Spirit working in and through us.
If we are obeying, we won't react in anger, lashing out at others when we feel wronged. We will model Christ, reacting with love and kindness.
If we are obeying, we will speak from a place of wisdom and peace, rather than spouting frivolous and hurtful things when we speak.
If we are obeying, we will serve others, particularly orphans and widows. Here, James makes it clear how we can be faithful to our call. We can serve the vulnerable, not allowing the hardness of the world to spill into our hearts and change us. Rather, we allow God to change us from the inside out, so that the love and grace God pours into us overflows into the world.