Saturday, November 7, 2015
Mirror, Mirror, on the Wall…
James 1: 23 – 25 tells us that anyone who hears the word but does not 'do' the word is like a man who looks in the mirror, walks away, and immediately forgets what he looks like. But the person who looks into the perfect law of liberty and continues in it will be blessed.
Mirrors are interesting things – they have been around for years – as early as 3000 BC when they were made of obsidian. Ancient mirrors were made of polished metal and at the very best reflected a distorted image. Paul refers to this in 1 Cor 13:12
For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face.
Now I know in part; then I shall know fully,
even as I have been fully known. (ESV)
It was not until the 14th century that the modern mirror was invented. Instead of metal, it is a piece of glass with silvering on one side. And these mirrors, for the most part give us a true image. We use them to make sure we look acceptable on the outside. At least most of us. There are those who stare at themselves and practice their “look”. Think Derek Zoolander and “BlueSteel”, his signature look.
And, it is interesting that James talks about a man looking into a mirror and immediately forgetting what he looks like. We may scoff at this idea, but there is actually a psychological disorder called body dysmorphic disorder. People cannot remember what they look like. If they see a picture of themselves, they do not recognize the image to be there own.
For most of us, looking in the mirror is not something we relish. I recently brought mirrors to my small group and asked the women to look at themselves for 1 minute. It was a struggle after about 15 seconds. We are more comfortable with just glancing at ourselves in the mirror to check our appearance.
When James talks about hearing the word, that is more like glancing or observing– quickly looking to make sure we look ok. But then James talks about the person who looks into the perfect law of liberty, this is at a deeper level. The original word in Greek implies studying intently or peering within.
Our self reflections can be skewed just like those ancient mirrors by the lies you have been told and believed. Instead look into a better mirror - God's word - and see who you are in Christ. You don't have to look far to find words like these:
loved accepted child of God
a temple redeemed forgiven a saint
Once you have THAT image is your mind's eye, you can then pray along with David:
Search me, O God, and know my heart!
Try me and know my thoughts!
And see if there be any grievous way in me,
and lead me in the way everlasting!
Psalm 139:23-24 (ESV)
And as we really look into the law of liberty, we may find some things in our life that are not pleasing to God.
our desires resentment not listening anger
doing things to be seen self-pity
out of control tongue religious activity that is useless
And just as we use a mirror to check for spinach between our teeth, use God's word to correct things in your character. And then step forward knowing that you are loved and accepted and with the hope that He will help you make any need corrections.
Mirrors have three purposes.
To show you who you are,
To show you who you were.
And to show you who you want to be.