22 Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. 23 Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like someone who looks at his face in a mirror 24 and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like. 25 But whoever looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues in it—not forgetting what they have heard, but doing it—they will be blessed in what they do.
What James is talking about here is the difference between head knowledge and heart knowledge. Someone may know a lot about the bible and be able to quote chapter and verse, but do they apply it's basic teachings. In the New Testament the word "heart" is closely associated with the "will". Although before we came to Christ our will was in bondage, now that we have been redeemed, we can direct our will toward obedience. This is guided by the Holy Spirit, who works in you to follow God's good and perfect will.
A lot of people think following Jesus and obeying His Word is a big drag. A downer. But James says someone who knows the word and doesn't follow it, is like a person who sees themselves in the mirror and then walks away forgetting what they look like. When we come to Christ, we see ourselves as the Father sees us, a His beloved son or daughter. But when we walk away it is like forgetting who we really are, and following a false image of who we used to be.
And yet when we are led by the Holy Spirit, we see a freedom we could never experience in our own will. And James says that by doing God's will and following His Word we will be blessed in all we do. The question is do you want to live the blessed life that God has for you, or stay in the bondage of your will which leads to slavery? As you look in the mirror today, see how God sees you through His Son. Then as you hear God's Word, be careful to do what it is says which is your new life in Christ!