Thursday, June 26, 2014
Mirrors by Christie Smith
Proverbs 27:19 "Just as water mirrors your face, so your face mirrors your heart."
I don't look in mirrors very often. There's the morning visit to put my contacts in and try to tame the beast sitting atop my head, and then the nightly visit to take the contacts out for the night. I don't spend a great deal of time focusing on all the little details that make up my physical self. If I do, it usually leads to feelings of "less-than" about the qualities lying beneath the surface.
Mirrors are everywhere in our life. In our homes, in our cars, in our purses. But it's not just in these shiny, reflective objects that we find our reflection. We also view ourselves through the eyes of others. From infancy, we judge the facial expressions and the tone of their voice to figure out whether we're "good" or "bad." As we grow, we change our need for acceptance from our parents to our friends. We find our identity in them. We emulate their qualities and actions in an attempt to be accepted, to be "normal." As adults, hopefully, we've gained a good sense of who we are and rely less on the acceptance of others. But looking to others to judge how we're doing doesn't have to be a bad thing. Just as we look into a mirror to fix flaws in our physical qualities, we can look to others to fix flaws in our character qualities. We can see where we may be off track and fix things. We can also catch a glimpse of our potential in the faith of others that sometimes eludes us because of doubt and fear.
The problem comes when we look to these external "mirrors" as absolute truth. We have to remember that the people we're looking to are also flawed. They have their own weak spots that warp their view of themselves and others, so looking to them to see who we are is like looking in a fun house mirror. We can't look to others to figure out who we are. We can't even look to ourselves for the truth. We have to focus on the mirror that nevers distorts, never warps, never lies. If we are to be a reflection of Christ, why would we look to anyone or anything other than the one true Christ? It's the only way to stay focused on what is real and true.