Mirror, Mirror In My Hand
HOUSE OF MIRRORS
Have you ever been to a house of mirrors? It can be fun and scary at the same time (just like when our youth pastor John Krill eats Taco Bell 😳).
There are a couple of different ways to interact with the mirrors. The mirror maze is one of the hardest. You try to find your way through while you are constantly confused about which way to go because every direction looks the same. (Hint: you can get through it faster by keeping your eyes on the ground.) After a while, you stumble your way out the other end and promise yourself you'll never do that again (just like at Thanksgiving dinner).
The other part of the house of mirrors is my favorite. It's walking up to mirrors shaped in different ways to distort your image. Some make you super thin, some make you really wide! There is a mirror that makes your head bigger (like I need any help with that). There's also a mirror, either at the beginning or the end, that isn't distorted at all. It shows you exactly what you look like. (Can I go back to the mirror that makes my muscles look bigger, please?)
A MIRROR'S JOB
Mirrors were designed to show a person a reflection of themselves. Not to distort or make it look better or worse in any way. No. It's simply to help us see what we are. To show us what's good and what needs to be fixed. (And in my case, plenty!) I may desire to see something else, but that's not going to happen unless I change something about myself.
If I want to see whiter teeth, I need to brush with whitening toothpaste. If I want to see bigger muscles, then I have to work out. If I want to see more hair, I have to find a magic lamp and wish for some (or go buy it).
A mirror can't change me. A mirror shows me what's true so that I make the decision to change.
MIRROR, MIRROR IN MY HAND
James wrote about a mirror that is perfect and able to show us exactly what needs to change, but not so that we can look more like ourselves, but more like Jesus. Here's what he said,
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. (James 1:22-25, NIV)
God's Word is our perfect, infallible mirror. It will always show us what is true about ourselves. You can trust it 100%.
The question is, "What are you going to do with what you see/hear?"
Two examples were given here:
The first person looked at the Bible, saw what it said about him, and then walked away without any plan to change a thing. This man is deceived. He thinks he can just forget about it and it won't matter.
An atheist looks at God's Word and dismisses it as myth, but he will stand before God someday. A college student who grew up in church knows what it says, but she walks away from it because she doesn't like what she looks like in it anymore. She, too, will stand before God someday.
It doesn't matter if you believe it or not, God's Word is true and we will all be judged by it someday. James said those who dismiss it deceive themselves. They see what the mirror is telling them, but they don't care or are too lazy to do anything about it.
The SECOND person looked at God's Word in a different way. James uses the word "intently" to describe the idea of studying with the intention of doing. This person is wise.
A high-schooler sees that God's Word says to remain pure, and decides to save herself for her future husband. A young dad sees that God's Word says to love his wife, and decides to work through the problems and difficulties instead of throwing in the towel. A couple in their later years sees in God's Word the importance of passing your faith on to their kids and grandkids, and decides to be faithful attending and serving in a church instead of RV-ing across America, so that they can set an example.
WHAT IS THE MIRROR SHOWING YOU?
God's Word is the mirror our souls need to follow Him. But it doesn't happen automatically. It doesn't happen magically. It doesn't happen just because we went to church on Sunday. It doesn't happen just because we listened to a podcast.
It happens when we look intently, deliberately into the Bible and then take what we see and do something about it. That requires us to actually be reading and hearing God's Word on a daily basis.
So let me ask you a question, "What is the perfect mirror showing YOU?"
Is it showing you that your head is too big with pride?
Is it showing you that you're a little thin on grace?
Is it showing you that you're getting bloated on gossip?
Is it showing you that your feet are too slow to share the gospel?
Whatever it shows you, I encourage you to do it. Only then will you be blessed.
Heavenly Father, I am sorry for ignoring the things that need to change in my life when I look into your Word. Please help me to be a doer and not just a hearer. I want to look more like your Son each and every day. Help me to do just that. Amen.