Could you imagine not looking into a mirror for a whole day? Week? Month? Year?? I think we all can agree that it is safe to assume that we would look as crummy as we could only imagine. Our hair would probably be as out-of-place as an amateur bird’s nest while our faces would be freckled with old and discolored condiments. To prevent this we keep pocket mirrors handy, take constant bathroom breaks, and even check our rear-view mirrors before we get out of the car.
Take a moment and think about how much time you spend looking into the mirror each day. Personally, I only look at a mirror when I happen to cross one but when I do, I LOOK as thoroughly as possible! We sometimes become so plagued by the thoughts of being embarrassed that we constantly check on ourselves to see how we are lookin’. No one wants to be caught looking any less than what society considers acceptable or polished.
Discomfort or a disliking brings change, right? Or at least it should. If I look in the mirror and my hair is out-of-place, I comb it. If my eyebrows need to be smoothed down, I get to smoothin’. If I see a pimple growing, I immediately reach for my Noxema. I am sure you get my point. My next question is, why do we sometimes trust the mirror made out of glass more than we trust our spiritual mirror, which is the Word of God? Compared to as frightening as we can become physically from the lack of looking into a natural mirror, we are even more hideous spiritually when we don’t make use of our spiritual mirror.
About a week or two ago I went to the grocery store to buy a few things. After spending about 15 minutes of being on the phone and glancing at each item in every isle I decided to go home before I began to buy unnecessary snacks. I had a case of water at the bottom of my cart so when I reached the register I immediately checked with the cashier to make sure that I wouldn’t have to pick up the heavy 24 pack of water and put it on the counter. Plus, I wanted her to know there was a case under the cart so that I could pay for it. The cashier assured me that I did not have to pick up the case of water and that she could put it in the system by its code. After paying for my items and receiving my receipt the Holy Spirit began leading me to look at my receipt. However, I didn’t want to because I knew exactly what the Holy Spirit was leading me to do. I hadn’t been charged for the water. I began to walk out of the grocery store as I was thinking about how I could use the extra money for gas. I only made about 3 steps until I took the receipt out of my pocket and asked the cashier if she rang up the water. The cashier who appeared to be young, maybe even a college student, stated that she hadn’t charged me for the water. The cashier appeared to be half in distress about the possibility of her supervisor knowing that she had almost mistakenly “given” away merchandise. As a college student I can relate to coping with the pressures of performing well at the workplace. On the other hand, she appeared to be shocked that I turned around to give what I owed. I didn’t even have to look at the receipt because I knew exactly what the issue was. I pulled out my wallet to pay for the water, partially disappointed in myself for attempting to leave without paying but slightly happy with the fact that I took heed to the guidance of the Holy Spirit. In the past, I never put a huge emphasis on having or gaining money but I definitely have had a manipulative and rebellious nature about myself that would try to get over simply because I could. This experience was clearly a test and reminds me of the story in the Bible about Ananias and Sapphira.
Ananias and Sapphira
Acts 5:1-10 (NIV):
1 Now a man named Ananias, together with his wife Sapphira, also sold a piece of property. 2With his wife’s full knowledge he kept back part of the money for himself, but brought the rest and put it at the apostles’ feet.3 Then Peter said, “Ananias, how is it that Satan has so filled your heart that you have lied to the Holy Spirit and have kept for yourself some of the money you received for the land? 4 Didn’t it belong to you before it was sold? And after it was sold, wasn’t the money at your disposal? What made you think of doing such a thing? You have not lied just to human beings but to God.” 5 When Ananias heard this, he fell down and died. And great fear seized all who heard what had happened. 6 Then some young men came forward, wrapped up his body, and carried him out and buried him.7 About three hours later his wife came in, not knowing what had happened. 8 Peter asked her, “Tell me, is this the price you and Ananias got for the land?”“Yes,” she said, “that is the price.”9 Peter said to her, “How could you conspire to test the Spirit of the Lord? Listen! The feet of the men who buried your husband are at the door, and they will carry you out also.” 10 At that moment she fell down at his feet and died. Then the young men came in and, finding her dead, carried her out and buried her beside her husband. 11 Great fear seized the whole church and all who heard about these events.”
I read the story about Ananias and Sapphira not too long ago so the consequences they faced are fresh in my memory. If someone had asked me if I was a thief or if I would lie to get something for free, I would have said no. Which, again is why we can’t trust our natural mirrors because the reflection of the Word showed me something different. Fortunately, I surrendered to the conviction of the Holy Spirit so that I didn’t act on what I thought was most logical but rather followed the righteousness steps of the Holy Spirit. I am glad I turned around and acknowledged the help of God because I believe as much as I constantly check with God to see what transgressions I have made against Him, He would have brought me back to this situation. Anyone who is serious about serving the Lord will leave wherever they are and whatever they are doing to do what is righteous and just to be free of conviction of the Holy Spirit. To me it feels like God is tapping me on my shoulder and saying, “Hey, you told me that you want to serve me. Let me help you be righteous so that I may be pleased. Even if I have to tap you for hours and days on end, no worries because mercifully, I don’t grow weary.” Thank God for conviction.
2 Corinthians 3:18 (KJV): “But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord.”
James 1:23-25 (NIV): “23 Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like someone who looks at his face in a mirror 24 and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like. 25 But whoever looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues in it—not forgetting what they have heard, but doing it—they will be blessed in what they do.”
1 Corinthians 13:12 (NIV): ” Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I am in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.”
The enemy wants one to see an illusion like the picture below. The devil will have one tricked into believing they are spiritually fit when they have been running with the devil for so long that their running patterns are synchronized with his. Even on the other extreme, Satan can have one believe that they are still struggling with something that God has dismissed out of one’s life. Satan is the father of lies (John 8:44)–why would one ever believe anything he has to say? We cannot make justifications from our own knowledge or understanding because our carnal nature makes us vulnerable to the tricks of the enemy. This is how the mind of individuals who are wonderfully and fearfully made become distorted with corrupt thoughts that lead to disorders such as bulimia and anorexia (Psalm 139:14). Or even how individuals are quick to point out the speck in another’s eye but disregard the plank in their own eye (Matthew 7:3). Only God can and will honestly tell you how you are lookin’— by His standards and not by the standards of the world.
Dont just reflect, reflect with a desire to change. As mentioned in a paragraph above, we must trust the reflection of the Bible even MORE than we trust the reflection of the natural mirror. When we see something unappealing in our natural mirrors, we are quick to move. Lets not act like our shoes are made out of bricks when the Word reveals spiritual misconduct. The Bible will tell you that you are a thief when the world tells you that you are only taking what is yours. The Bible will tell you that you are committing adultery when the world tells you that looking and fantasizing doesn’t hurt. And most importantly, the Bible will tell you that the only way to the Father is through the Son (John 14:6) when the world tells you that there is only one God but many avenues leading to Him. The last example is essential in effective spiritual reflection because until recognition and acceptance regarding Christ as one’s Lord and Saviour, everything else is unobtainable. Remember, never put trust in man or the natural things of this world because it will leave you shattered and traumatized.