2 Corinthians 13:5 says, “Examine yourselves to see whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves . . . ”
Three things that tend to tell the truth are leggings, small children, and mirrors. “Share time” in my elementary classrooms of long ago was ripe with opportunities for TOO MUCH INFORMATION at times. Parents would have shuddered if they had known their private moments were being telecast to a small army of ears. When lips or boundaries are loosed, the impact can be far reaching . . . ask any rookie crop duster or parent of a second grader who can repeat the latest family “drama” with colorful R-rated details.
Truth, like mirrors, can only be avoided for so long. Eventually, the lettuce between your teeth, the smeared lipstick, or the blackened eye will be revealed. Reflections matter. Perhaps more to us than others! What are we really checking for when gazing into a mirror? Our presentation, image, or best version of ourselves? Wouldn’t it be more productive to approach instead of avoid the reflection we are presenting to the world with an attitude of assessment rather than judgment? This demands intentional divine alignment. Applying truth instead of moisturizer is the template to reveal God’s forgiveness, restoration, and transforming grace. Magnifying His attributes is a guaranteed image enhancer that doesn’t require an infomercial to solicit customers.
Like the mirror, Truth’s magnification level is personal, current, and accurate. No fillers, peels, or pricey products required. In other words, if we don’t like the image, we would be wise to invite the Holy Spirit to change it to His reflection, not the double-mindedness of blending the two.
Too often I think believers are blind to their blindness. They operate from a comparison grading scale. Our views of ourselves tend to be filtered with emotions, wounds, insecurity, and regrets. I would like to think that on most days I see myself well, but I don’t. Sin blinds us of us. That’s one reason our walk with God demands a community or panoramic mindset and view. It’s a choice we make daily. Are we better known for our frequent selfie moments (us) or anonymous service lifestyle (them)? I’ve yet to find a reference where Jesus was too busy, stressed, over-scheduled, or distracted to focus on the Father’s glory and serving others . . . IN THAT ORDER!
Currently, relationships have been stymied and relegated to endless networks of thimble deep casual encounters due to working from home, ever-changing Covid mandates, and zooming. Couple that with the must-haves in personal lighting gadgets and enhanced backdrops and it quickly becomes BIG business just to relate on a less than “staged” platform. “JUMPING on” for a quick screen interaction may take hours to prepare for an exchange of only a few brief moments. According to Samsung and published in USA Today, millennials are on track to take 25,000 selfies in a lifetime. “Why” might be worth unpacking. Please don’t rush past this.
Look around. Look inside. Attention-seeking behavior/addiction (for whatever reason) may need divine healing, not simply earthly exposure with followers. Sadly, we often care more about how people see and assess our crafted attempts at posed and doctored snapshots than being exemplary in lifestyle. Don’t get me wrong, taking care of your health and thus the temple God gifted you with is valid, but when it becomes more about “look at me” or MY kids over “look at Jesus” that’s a tipping point.
Yes, I love scrapbooking, and yes, I request family photos as often as my crew will cooperate, but I think when we try to market ourselves abundantly for profit or attention, we might end up being deceived. I think there’s a better way with a more eternal goal to keep centered.
How do you engage? Do people really know you? Dear child of God, you have a story of redemption that needs to be shared. Exposure isn’t always easy, but it is profitable if it highlights Jesus. Mutual ministry, discipling, and simply sharing through vulnerable fellowshipping have become about as rare as finding political statesmen who serve others.
I’ve heard it said that, “The mirror of a man’s heart is his actions.” The woman at the well would agree that Jesus “saw” her. He gazed on her need. He didn’t reflect judgment. He exposed her sin, and gave her Himself; which is the only way to real and lasting transformation. Is there a need for self-reflection, certainly? Should we care about appearance to showcase our love of the Lord, no question. The ultimate decision might be . . . who is the mirror for? Where does the spotlight tend to drift?
I pray we all choose Jesus with whatever image He has given us to tell His story. When people see Jesus in us, we will be reminded that the mirror isn’t the enemy, it’s the tool that illuminates Christ in us. Mirrors can’t talk and aren’t we glad they can’t laugh either. Focus on the soul, not the body and our definition of beauty will better reflect His.