I'm Talking With The Man In The Mirror
One of the skills a Christian needs to have is that of looking in the mirror. We all do a good job of examining other people’s lives. After all, “who am I, to be blind? Pretending not to see their needs.” But when it comes to ourselves, we could all use a little self-reflection. The trick is knowing which mirror to look in.
I’m gonna make a change, for once in my life…
There are two main mirrors of self-examination. First, there is the mirror of self, which just means looking at yourself to tell you about yourself. The second is the mirror of God’s word to tell you who you are.
If we look at the mirror of ourselves we will find a skewed picture of the truth. For some, looking at the mirror of self only puffs them up with self-flattery. They look at their moral goodness like shiny white teeth and spend reflection time smiling away like a selfie taking teenager. Others don’t like what they see at all; they either avoid the mirror altogether or cringe with guilt when they see their moral flabbiness.
It’s gonna feel real good, gonna make a difference…
If you are looking at God’s word for self-examination you will have a real standard before you. All that is good, beautiful and true comes from and is found in, God. A good look in the mirror of God’s word should do two main things.
First, it will show you how far off you are from absolute moral perfection. Yes, God is the standard. No, you are not the standard. Before your Creator, whose character is the very definition of good, you are a rebel - “For all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God” (Rom. 3:23). It’s not too fun to look at that, and if you don’t think that you are sinful just ask a friend. But thankfully that’s not what the Bible is about – there is really, REALLY, good news.
And no message could have been any clearer…
The second thing that looking in the mirror of God’s word should do for you is to show you where you stand before Him in light of the cross of Jesus Christ. The Bible says in 2 Corinthians 5:21 that “For our sake he (God) made him (Jesus) to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.”
In other words, God gave a perfect substitute on your behalf. Now your first reaction might be to wonder why a good God would need to punish at all, couldn’t he just forgive? The answer to that is: no. If God turns a blind eye to injustice (which our sin is because it’s rebellion against our Creator, every problem in the world is a result of it, and it is always, always harmful to others) then it is not justice at all to simply wink at sin by not dealing with it. A price must be paid. The good news is that at the cross Jesus took on the sins of the world. An infinite amount of holiness paid for the accumulated sins of mankind.
How should that affect you?
Take a look at yourself, and then make a change…
If you trust in Jesus as your substitution, then you have the great honor of seeing yourself the way God does.
Scripture tells us in Psalm 103:10-14 that, “10 He does not deal with us according to our sins, nor repay us according to our iniquities.11 For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his steadfast love toward those who fear him; 12 as far as the east is from the west, so far does he remove our transgressions from us.13 As a father shows compassion to his children, so the LORD shows compassion to those who fear him. 14 For he knows our frame; he remembers that we are dust.”
Translation: As a Christian, on your best day as a human being and on your worst day as a human being, you have exactly the same standing before God.
Look beyond yourself for true identity. You do not give yourself breath, so look to the one who is giving it. You do not grace yourself with gravity as we fly on this rock around a dying star, so look to the one who does. And you do not give yourself your true identity; so look to the one who can.
Take this advice from the book of James.
“22 But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. 23 For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks intently at his natural face in a mirror. 24 For he looks at himself and goes away and at once forgets what he was like. 25 But the one who looks into the perfect law, the law of liberty, and perseveres, being no hearer who forgets but a doer who acts, he will be blessed in his doing.” (James 1: 22-25)
Don’t forget who you are. If you have, start looking in the right mirror.
Na na na, na na na, na na, na nah