Mirrors, there are many different kinds of mirrors with different messages. The mirror in my hairdresser’s bathroom tells me I look a little taller and thinner than in reality, and I look much more put together than I feel. I find that they need to put that mirror in dressing rooms in stores that actually want to sell clothes. Most mirrors in stores don’t make me want to buy the outfit if you know what I mean. The mirror in my downstairs bathroom doesn’t show me the things I need to see to care for myself the best way I can, yet my mirror upstairs shows me every flaw I could imagine.
For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks at his natural face in a mirror; for once he has looked at himself and gone away, he has immediately forgotten what kind of person he was. But one who looks intently at the perfect law, the law of liberty, and abides by it, not having become a forgetful hearer but an effectual doer, this man will be blessed in what he does. James 1:23-25
God’s Word is the perfect mirror. It is not a mirror that tells us what we want to hear or makes us look better than we are; instead, this mirror tells us the truth, with God’s love as a motivation.
There have been times when life has been full, and I would rush past the mirror long enough to brush my teeth but never really look intently to ensure I wasn’t letting myself go in any area. Then, one day, you take a few minutes and do a detailed check, and you realize you have been neglected, wondering to yourself when was the last time you actually honestly looked in a mirror.
Maybe I am the only woman who does this, but I am not convinced I am.
James is sharing that if we are only a hearer of the Word and not a doer, too, it is like a person who looks in the mirror but walks away, forgetting what they look like. If we only hear what God says, but we don’t apply it, it won’t really matter that we read it or heard it. There won’t be any change in our lives. The transformation within us won’t happen. Our reflection in the mirror won’t change.
One day, I was looking in the mirror in my downstairs bathroom. I was looking to see if I needed to do any plucking. There were a few stray hairs that needed to go. So I dealt with them and then went on my way. I worked upstairs later in the day and used the bathroom upstairs. I looked in the mirror up there and saw much more. I was a little distraught that I had missed those earlier. I would have been embarrassed going out like that. My mind began trying to figure out why I missed them in the other mirror, and God showed me the difference was in the lighting. The lighting upstairs was much more bright and direct. At that moment, I heard God ask me which one I preferred.
I stood there for a while pondering that thought and thinking about how to answer that question honestly.
I think sometimes it is easier to find the mirror that makes things look a little better and doesn’t create as much work to do. That is human nature.
But if we really want to change and be transformed by the power of the Holy Spirit in our lives and look more like Jesus, we have to choose to look in the mirror that has bright and direct lighting. We have to allow God to shine His light on those places that don’t look so good or need some good plucking and healing.
This is hard and painful work and can feel unfair, especially if those places have been created by other people’s choices.
I am going to be studying some places in God’s Word this year, with a journal alongside me, ready to record those mirror moments in my life. I want to leave God’s word with God’s wisdom, direction, and loving reminders of who I am in Him. Reminders that I am a new creation and I am free because of Jesus. Reminders that He wants to help me through the painful places, and He is my protector and redeemer.
Sometimes, we start pulling away from God because it feels too hard and painful to look into the mirror of His Word. This is what the enemy wants. As women, we look in mirrors, and when they show us a picture that seems so discouraging to us, we start to avoid the mirrors. We think to ourselves, we will never lose the weight, we will never be pretty enough, or tone enough, or fashionable enough. We start to believe we are not good enough or will never measure up to the expectations of what we should be.
I truly believe that our beauty is seen in and through our obedience. I believe that as women, as we look into the mirror of God’s Word and allow God to speak to our hearts, showing us the changes we need to make, His beauty shines through us in a way that changing our appearance or making behavior modifications ever could.
Your adornment must not be merely external—braiding the hair, and wearing gold jewelry, or putting on dresses; but let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the imperishable quality of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is precious in the sight of God. 1 Peter 3:3-4
That is what is precious to God!
Will you practice this with me? Will you look into the mirror of God’s truth, recording and journaling what He shows you so you don’t just walk away and forget what you saw? Will you share in these mirror moments with me and allow God to transform us and change us in ways that continue to make us more like Jesus?
Heavenly Father, Thank You for the mirror of Your Word. We ask that You shine Your light on every Word, and may Your Holy Spirit speak truth to us, help us in the sometimes painful work of being obedient to You, and bring the blessing that You promise to those who walk in obedience to You. In Jesus Name! Amen!