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Mirror, Mirror on the Wall…Who Is The Man In the Mirror?

Some of us suffer from a lack of understanding ourselves.  It is not our fault, it is just the way it is.  Others, who have had to endure real hardships in different areas of their life, know themselves because they have been tested.  Truth is, we are all in need of refinement.

I was a dyed in the wool legalist during my Bible College days.  I believed everything I was taught right down to the jot and tittle.  If my teachers and pastors spoke it I imbibed it without question because after all, as they were so fond of saying, “they watched for my soul.”

Then I met God

Isn’t that a strange thing to say?  I was in Bible College and learning Greek, Hebrew, church history, studying each book of the Bible in depth, searching commentaries, reading different translations, and studying original manuscripts.  Yet, for all that, when God showed up He was different (an a lot more fun) than my doctrine said. It all goes to show that you can dig as fast and furious as you want but it will all be in vain if you don’t dig in the right place.

One day, I remember it so clearly, I was standing on a certain street. In fact, it was literally a fork in the road.  It was there that God asked me to do something that set me apart from everyone and everything I knew.  Suddenly, I was on the receiving end of all that legalism that I had been dishing out and it was awful.  I became painfully aware that I had acted just like my “brethren” who persecuted me.  I was ashamed, not of them, but of myself.

Paul says,

” But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves. For if any be a hearer of the word, and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a glass: For he beholdeth himself, and goeth his way, and straightway forgetteth what manner of man he was.”

James 1:22-24

When People judged me harshly that said they “loved me”, it hurt. However, nowadays  I count that terrible experience as a gift.  As I experience how they despised me, I realized how wrong I was to love doctrine more than people.  Choosing God’s way rather than men’s way, lead me into the intimate fellowship with Him.  Experiencing cruel treatment from the church, jolted me out of my deception.

I understand (in a very small way) how Christ learned obedience through the things he suffered.  Choosing to obey rather than “get along” forced me to make hard choices for God.   I made decisions I may have never made,  because God was clearly on one side and organized Christianity on the other.

The man in the mirror

I saw myself as I truly was, causing me to repent and change.  It opened me up to listen to the Holy Spirit in ways I may never had even considered.  I came to understand why the common people do not hear the message of Christ from the normative church.  I understood that people could not hear what I said because they saw through my hypocrisy.

In conclusion,  the way of the wilderness is tough, but a necessary right of passage that tare you down and then builds you up in God.  Knowing yourself, in Him, through adversity helps us to face the reality of who we really are.  Once we look in the mirror, we can  make a changes necessary to love God and our neighbors too.

How can I apply this teaching to my life?

Stand in front of your bathroom mirror and ask God to show you what kind of man or woman you really are.  Ask yourself, “am I doing what God wants me to do or am I doing what I want to do?” Write a list of what the Holy Spirit says to your heart and mind. Take that list and tape it to your bathroom mirror so that you see it every time your see yourself in the mirror to remind you of what God said.