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Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Reflect this!

There are some days I would not want you to read my mind!  The story being told inside there is just a little too weird for you to listen to - or maybe a little too critical of another, a little too warped from reality, or a little too self-aggrandizing to be of any benefit to another.  Regardless of the "story" told there, it just isn't a pleasant place for you to go, much less for me to dwell for very long!  The truth be told, we all struggle with "stories" in our mind which really reveal much about us an individuals.  "Stories" which don't exactly reveal the identity we want others to see.  

As water reflects your face, so your mind shows what kind of person you are. (Proverbs 27:19 NCV)

Why do you think our writer equates the mirroring effect of still water with our minds?  If you remember from past blogs, the "heart" of a man is really somewhere in the brain - the seat of our emotions, rational thought, and even irrational thought.  As such, it is a "repository" of all kinds of things - good and bad alike.  In scripture, we are told:  "Good people bring good things out of the good they stored in their hearts. But evil people bring evil things out of the evil they stored in their hearts. People speak the things that are in their hearts."  (Luke 6:45 NCV)  Do you recognize this passage?  In the more traditional translations, it reads, "...of the abundance of the heart, a man speaks."  So, in the most literal sense, our hearts really do act as a "reflection" of what is contained within us.

Have you ever noticed how hard it is to hide what is going on in your mind?  The face betrays you on more occasions than you think.  Try as you might, what is really rolling around in the recesses of your mind gets revealed on your face.  It is a mirror!  Try to hide your regret over some person's actions and you will be able to do it for a short period of time.  Those actions repeated become "reruns" in your mind - your mind replaying the past times when you experienced the same or similar disappointments.  Soon, what is reflected is really the image of this disappointment you hold in your mind.  This being the case, the mind is key to what others "see" in us.  We don't give our minds enough credit for what gets "displayed" in our lives - maybe it is about time we did!

Jesus points the disciples to the heart - good people bringing good stuff from their hearts; evil people bringing just the opposite.  Ultimately, we speak the things in our heart - no denying this one!  What we "rerun" in our minds soon becomes the place we turn to quite often because this thought pattern is familiar to us.  Maybe this is why we are told to hide scripture there!  In times when we need to "rerun" stuff in our minds, I wonder what would be reflected if we began to rerun the scripture we put there right alongside that "bad memory"?  You see, you don't displace the bad until the new becomes the habit.  Rerunning the scripture when you want to "plug into" the memory of the bad soon makes the "go to" for our brain the scripture instead of the not so edifying memory.

Broken hearts become new not by trying to "pretty it up" with some kind of fluffy thought, or imaginary "mask" we try to hide behind.  Even behind the mask, the words we speak betray what is really "reflected" from our hearts.  So, if we want good reflections, we need to learn what we reflect upon most often!  Wouldn't it be awesome if our face reflected the hope Jesus brings over the pain of our past, rather than the images of that pain?  Just sayin!