I wonder how many of you have had the same experience I have. I get up in the morning and stumble still half asleep into the bathroom, switch on the light and look into the mirror only to be jolted into complete consciousness. There looking back at me is not the man I see in my mind’s eye…he is much, much younger and better looking, but instead I am looking at a man I almost don’t recognize. The man I see has to deal with reality…and make friends with a hairbrush! He needs to have his face washed and shaved, his hair combed, and teeth brushed before doing almost anything else, but certainly before he leaves the house! In that moment, though I cannot say I am extremely grateful for it, my mirror has done its job. It has shown me what needs to be fixed before I can effectively do much else.
I was speaking with Pastor Wallace of Crossroad Christian Church in Dover, De today and he made a statement that really stuck in my mind. He said that the purpose of a mirror is to offend. That the reason any of us have a mirror in our home is to help us see that we are not yet fit to go out into public the way we rolled out of bed. As Christians God’s Word is like a mirror, not one that reflects us, but one that is supposed to show us where we fail to look like someone else…Christ! We are created in the image and likeness of God, but this old world has a tendency if we are not careful to make us look more like us and less like Him. We need the mirror of His word to help us see where we still need some fixing before we leave home…so to speak. 2 Tim. 3:16,17 says of the mirror – All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.
Paul talked about this in 1 Corinthians 13, which we refer to as the “Love Chapter”. He wrote in vs 12, For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known. Paul also used the mirror analogy. He essentially said that our reflection should be that of Christ, and he intimated it should be so in the present tense, here in this life. In other words, while he knew we wouldn’t be perfect at reflecting Christ at all times in all circumstances, we should constantly allow the Holy Spirit to be conforming us to His image so that is what is clearly seen. Someday, hallelujah, we will see him face to face and be exactly like Him, but in the meantime a good reflection is what we should be trying to display. When people look at us, the object is that instead they see Christ.
So just how do we do this? Use the mirror…the Word of God. It is full of beauty tips on how to look more like Jesus. For today, let’s start by looking back at the chapter I already referenced. God is love, therefore, Jesus who through his own life showed us who God is, displayed ultimate love. What does that love look like? 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 describes it for us – Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
So dare to look in the mirror along with me. Are these attributes already perfectly in place in your life, or like me, do you need to do some fixing here and there? I know this…there has been no time in our recent history as a nation when it has been more vital to love like Jesus. Just like Jesus…not kind of like Jesus…not Jesus-ish…JUST LIKE JESUS…a mirror image. Everyone you lay eyes on Jesus loved enough to die for, will you join with me in praying that God will help us see others the way His Son Jesus does? Nothing short of that will enable us to love them as we should so that we can be good, clear, reflections of Christ.
So now, go be awesome!