Week Twenty – Mirrors
I have always loved the book of James because of its straight and simple message. In James 1:22-24 we see the example of the man who looked into the mirror to see his image, but went away forgetting what he saw.
When I look into a mirror I can see my imperfections. We all have spots and blemishes of some description. We may have one eye larger than the other, or thick lips, or thin lips, or any number of variations. They even say if you divide your face in two vertically, you find each side was different. We simply are not perfect!
Now, I don’t want us to get hung up on what we look like on the outside. God is not worried about our physical image. He is looking at our heart. So when James wrote about the man forgetting what he saw, he wasn’t referring to his face; he was referring to his spiritual condition.
2 Corinthians 3:18 also speaks of seeing our reflection saying, “But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.”
Let me put to you a few ideas about our image and how God makes transformation.
First, there is a law of reflection. Our speech, our dress, our political views all reflect the person we are. We are mirrors. I see you and I describe you by what I see. You see me, and you describe me by what you see. My reflection/personality/outlook influences you in some way. Maybe it creates hope or happiness. Maybe it causes disgust or fear. For better or for worse, our reflection has an effect.
Second, there is the law of assimilation. All we have personally seen, felt, known, and experienced has become a part of us. We are changed by these things and reflect them. They are not just memories; they make up who we are. They are markers to where we have been and are assimilated into the deep recesses of our hearts and souls creating the person we are today. For example, I grew up on in a rural setting. My experiences and outlook are colored by my upbringing. You may have grown up in the city. Your experiences will also color your mindset and outlook.
But here is the thing. Though we will reflect the person we are, Christ came to transform that image into His likeness. How? By reflection. Look again at 2 Corinthians. We are told to behold the glory of the Lord. We are to look at His reflection. What will we see?
We will see His glory shining through His perfect character. We see His beauty. He is merciful, gracious, long-suffering, and abundant in goodness and truth. His reflection is a force used by God to create change in us.
Every time we look at the image of the Lord through the mirror of His word, there is an affect. We see our own sinfulness and His perfection, our impairment and His sufficiency and our weakness and His strength. From glory to glory He uses His perfect reflection to impress change in our lives.
It is the process of sanctification: a day-by-day, moment-by-moment, divine reflection that transforms us by His power.
The challenge for us is to not be like the man in James who saw his flaws but forgot about them thinking he would not reflect those images to others. But rather, to be always looking into the reflection of Christ allowing His glory to be assimilated into our own reflection that we might mirror His image.