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Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Not just a reflection

If you are not a friend to yourself, it shows in the little things you neglect and are quite critical of in yourself.  When you are not a "fan" of who or what you are, you have a tendency to be quite "down" on whatever character flaw it is that has caught your attention at that moment.  In fact, you see that flaw in yourself, and then the contradictory "perfection" in someone else.  You might even see that same "flaw" in another, but you are more likely to just look at how someone else "has it all together" in that area and then be even more "down" on yourself because of your perceived "flaw".  According to scripture, you can tell when you are a "friend to yourself" by how well you are pursuing the things in life which make you wise.  When you apply yourself to wisdom, there is little time to be "down" on the stuff which you get hung up on when all you are doing is looking at your reflection in a mirror!

Be a friend to yourself; do all you can to be wise. Try hard to understand, and you will be rewarded. (Proverbs 19:8 ERV)

Mirrors produce a "reflected" image which is bounced back to whoever is looking at the image.  The closer you get to the mirror, the closer the image appears and the more the "inspection" can get into the not otherwise noticeable nooks and crannies.  The mirror we choose to use to reflect back an image to us is important, though.  Try using one of those high-powered mirrors to get a perspective of how an outfit looks on you and you will get a pretty distorted image.  Try using a full-length mirror to determine which eyebrow needs to be plucked and you are just not going to narrow in on the culprit you can feel, but not see!  We need the right mirror for the job at hand, don't we?  So, why is it we use the "wrong mirror" to look at ourselves when it comes to considering the work of grace within us?  We choose to look at ourselves through a mirror of judgment and disgust - God is looking at us through a mirror of grace and acceptance.

When we are looking in the right mirror, what we see reflected back at us is a more accurate representation of the true character of what is beheld.  This is why it so important to pursue wisdom - to pursue the things which are truth rather than fiction in our lives.  Sometimes the greatest understanding comes in the times we are reflective - when we are "at the right mirror", looking intently into the right image of how God sees us.  In science, we have microscopes. They often have a couple of high powered lenses.  If you have ever used one, you know you spin the right lens into place and "poof" - what was hidden is revealed!  Things appearing one way on the surface come to light in a totally different way under the magnification of that lens.  Why?  The "power" of sight is increased because we are seeing the object through a very focused lens.  

When we allow God's Spirit to be the lens by which we focus on ourselves (and others for that matter), we often begin to see things which were once hidden from our view - things which appear one way on the surface, but which have a totally different view when scrutinized through the right lens.  Notice I used this word "scrutinized".  I think we need to do a little scrutinizing in our lives from time to time, but when we do, we need to be conscientious about using the right lens by which the hidden is revealed!  We can use the lens of popular opinion, but trust me on this one - it is flawed!  We can use the lens of misguided beliefs, but we will just see what we want to see when we do.  We need the lens of truth if we are to ever uncover the hidden.

We do well to learn - but we do best when we apprehend our learning and use it in everyday life.  We do well to look at our reflection - but we see most accurately when we use the scripture, God's Word, to allow the most accurate reflection of how God sees us to come back at us.  Just sayin!