It was just another ordinary trip to Costco. You know the routine—you pop in for Greek yogurt and dog food and come out with a freestanding magnifying mirror. With LED light for “greater definition”. And 10x magnification. It sounded like a good idea at the time—at my age, I need all the help I can get with seeing “greater definition” when applying makeup. On reflection (pun intended), I’m learning much from my magnifying mirror…
It was shocking, that first peek. Glaring light, my face magnified 10 times. Nobody over the age of 40 should ever do this unsupervised. Where did all those wrinkles come from? The imperfections? The blemishes? The random hairs? Is this how everyone actually sees me? I may never set foot outside my house again.
Of course, this is MERCIFULLY not the version of my face that normal people gaze upon. When I invited my husband to take a gander at his countenance in said mirror, he was equally mortified. “Why would anyone want a mirror like this?” Good question.
The thing is, we like to see our imperfections—so that we can attempt to eradicate them. Pluck, conceal, moisturize, colour… most of us would rather know about the issue so we can deal with it. We don’t just shrug, raise an unplucked brow, and choose to go on our merry way. And yet:
“Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like someone who looks at his face in a mirror and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like.” James 1:23-24
Yes, mirrors are mentioned in the Bible. God uses this metaphor to get our attention because most of us do not suffer from instant reflection amnesia when we walk away from our mirror. Yet how often do we walk out of church after a sermon, or get on with our day after a quick “quiet time” and completely forget or choose to neglect the truth God has revealed to us?
Can I be honest with you? I have a horrible memory. It’s a sieve. Please don’t ask me about the sermon from last week. I long to be more like my husband, who will literally question what I thought about a particular sermon we heard by so-and-so on such-and-such a date in 1993 when we lived in Wales. Sheesh. But I know these verses are addressing more than a memory issue—it’s a heart issue. Why do we choose to merely be “hearers” of the Word, and not “doers”? Pride, busyness, distraction, priorities, fear… and yet God doesn’t expect us to “do” it all in our own strength:
“So here’s what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering.” Romans 12:1
By listening to what God has to say to us and then putting it into practice, we can start to really live. No more pretending the blemishes aren’t there—let’s look long and hard in that Bible-Mirror and then see what needs to be done. In His strength. Living out the gospel in the everyday, at home, in work, with our friends, in our neighbourhoods—loving one another in practical ways. Being teachable, available, willing.
The good news? Our lives are so much fuller and richer when we are not only hearers but doers of the Word. When we study the message of Truth more diligently than we study our reflections in the mirror. When we choose to NOT walk away and forget His love letter to us. We don’t have to rely on self—we have the power of the Holy Spirit at work in us. No lotions or potions, plucking or tucking required:
“Stop imitating the ideals and opinions of the culture around you, but be inwardly transformed by the Holy Spirit through a total reformation of how you think. This will empower you to discern God’s will as you live a beautiful life, satisfying and perfect in his eyes.” Romans 12:2
So what did I learn from my mirror?
- The only thing I really want to see magnified in my life is Jesus.
- I would rather be a light for Him than see my own face lit up, thank you very much.
- Yeah, I have imperfections externally, which I can attempt to deal with, although methinks it’s a losing battle.
- I’m reminded that no matter my age or appearance, I am a beloved daughter of the King.
- He has much to say to me through His Word-Mirror… truths that affect the internal and the eternal.
And that, friend, is worth reflecting upon.
Until next time,
P.S. Want to live out your purpose and passion with wisdom and strength? Join me as we unearth 31 exciting gems from Proverbs 31—a diamond a day for a month—in a fresh devotional that will reassure you of your precious worth: DIAMOND DEVOS 31
Linking up with some fabulous encouragers! Check them out: