Look in the Mirror! What Can You See?

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mirror
Photo by Caroline Veronez on Unsplash

 

In my dreams I have seen mirrors a lot of times. Mirrors reflect whatever they are facing – beauty, ugliness, worry, happiness, sadness, anxiety …

Now look in the mirror and tell me what and who you can see!

Since we are all different, we will see different reflections in the mirror. Let me tell you a story of two people.

I know an old man who saw himself as handsome, strong, better than others, prideful… when he looked in the mirror – as if he was a king. He only saw his own glory. With this reflection of himself, he lived his life.

I also know a woman who saw herself as ugly, insignificant, a failure, insecure, sad, depressed… when she looked in the mirror – as if she was a loser. She only saw this negative image of herself. With this reflection of herself, she lived her life.

One day both the old man and the woman had a life-changing experience – they both got seriously sick and had a near-death experience.

Now the old man saw himself as sick, broken, weak, anxious, dying… when he looked in the mirror but when the old man got better, he saw himself as handsome, strong, better than others, prideful… again when he looked in the mirror. He still sees himself like this.

The woman also saw herself as sick, broken, weak, anxious, dying… when she looked in the mirror but when she got better, she had a life-changing encounter with God, repented of her sins, and surrendered her life to Jesus Christ. She became a born-again Christian – a new person changed from the inside out. Now when she looks in the mirror she not only sees herself but she sees faith, hope, love, truth, power, strength, grace, compassion … – in short, she sees the glory of the Lord. She sees who and what Jesus Christ has made her to be in Him when she accepted Him as Savior and Lord. There are still days where she sees herself as negative as before because she is still a sinful person but most days she sees herself as God has created her to be.

Let’s go back to that old man. Why is he still seeing himself as before? It’s because he hasn’t repented of his sins and surrendered his life to Jesus Christ yet. Actually, he has been living without Christ for all his life. I can only hope and pray that he will surrender his life to Jesus Christ and be saved before he dies.

Seeing only yourself and your own glory can even end up deadly as we can read in the Greek mythology of Narcissus who fell in love with his own reflection in water, pined away, died, and was turned into the flower of like name.

 

narcissus
Narcissus looking at his reflection in water

 

Now we make a jump to the beginning of mankind. God created us in His image.

So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them. Genesis 1:27

He made everything perfect including us.

And God saw everything that he had made, and behold, it was very good. Genesis 1:31

 

Unfortunately, sin crept into God’s creation through Satan disguised as a serpent.

 

Before men fell into sin, they saw everything through the eyes of God – through the mirror of God and their hearts were pure and full of light.

And the man and his wife were both naked and were not ashamed. Genesis 2:25

 

adam and eve
Adam and Eve

 

Satan tempted men making them believe that they could become like God.

But the serpent said to the woman, “You will not surely die. For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” Genesis 3:4-5

 

eve and serpent
source: Karen’s Whimsy

 

When men became sinful and spiritually dead, they now saw everything through the eyes of the world, their flesh, and evil – through the mirror of their sinful nature. Their hearts were now sinful, evil, and dark.

Then the eyes of both were opened, and they knew that they were naked. And they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves loincloths. Genesis 3:7

 

adam and eve
Sweet Publishing/FreeBibleimages.org

 

The Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intention of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. Genesis 6:5

From this day on, we are not able to see God’s glory because there is a veil on our hearts which puts us into darkness. This veil was created by our own sin. It is like looking in a mirror that is covered by a veil or cloth. Our sight is impaired because the mirror will only reflect the veil or the cloth.

Yes, to this day whenever Moses is read a veil lies over their hearts. 2 Corinthians 3:15

 

mirror
Photo by Luis Villasmil on Unsplash

 

Now it’s time to make a connection between mirrors and humans. Humans are like mirrors. We reflect what we see. It begins in our childhood as little babies. We imitate and do what we see our parents doing. We are influenced by everything that is in our environment – other people, books we read, the news, movies, Social Media, and so on. We see everything with a veil on our hearts and with the eyes of the world and evil. Since this world is fallen and corrupt, and its ruler is Satan, we reflect sinful, fleshly, and evil things.

And you were dead in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience— among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind. Ephesians 2:1-3

We remain in this condition until we get to know Jesus Christ, believe that He died for our sins, and surrender our life to Him as our Lord and Savior. When we become born-again Christians, the veil on our hearts gets removed. In Scripture we can read that when Jesus said “It is finished” (John 19:30), “the curtain of the temple was torn in two, from top to bottom.” Matthew 27:51

Through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ we can now come to God through faith in Him. There is no barrier between God and man anymore. When we let Jesus Christ in our heart, the veil on our heart gets removed and we can see God’s glory because we are fully transformed into Christ’s image through the Holy Spirit. We behold Jesus and reflect Him like a mirror.

And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit. 2 Corinthians 3:18

“Beholding” is another word for “looking at” and describes where our heart is engaged and what it desires. When we are beholding the world and everything it has to offer, we will only reflect worldly things.

As Christians, however, we need to behold the Lord and reflect Him. So how can we do that? Scripture tells us how.

But when one turns to the Lord, the veil is removed. 2 Corinthians 3:16

We behold the Lord by turning our hearts to Him. When we do that, we reflect the Lord. Everytime we behold something other than Christ Himself, we end up reflecting that thing. There is a danger in it because we might behold “being Christ-like” instead of beholding Christ Himself. This can lead to mere imitation and imitation can be counterfeited. Imitation in this sense is trying to imitate Christ according to our own efforts and concept of what it is to be Christ-like. This will eventually fall short because we will not be able to imitate perfectly. For this reason, beholding and reflecting is not imitation.

When we behold, we don’t do it with our own efforts. We simply turn our hearts to the Lord, and He himself brings light into our transformed inner being which reflects our outward behavior. As mirrors we reflect the Lord automatically. This happens because Christ changes us inwardly. Then other people won’t see a person who merely tries to be like Christ but Christ Himself reflected in our life.

Even if we are already born-again Christians, it still can happen that our hearts get veiled because in this world we still have a sinful nature. When we turn our hearts toward things that are in this world such as religious concepts, cultural traditions, the news on TV, Social Media, other people, our own ideas, etc. instead of toward Christ, our hearts get veiled and we are unable to behold and reflect Him.

To put this veil away, we need to be in God’s Word on a regular basis, best daily, and pray to Him that He may helps us to turn us away from the things that veil our hearts. Then when we turn our hearts to Christ, we can behold and reflect Him.

 

jesus in the mirror

 

Not only humans are like mirrors. God’s Word is also a mirror. It shows us what is in our hearts – both good and bad things.

But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks intently at his natural face in a mirror. For he looks at himself and goes away and at once forgets what he was like. James 1:22-24

 

bible
Photo by Rod Long on Unsplash

 

When we read God’s Word, we have two options – only hearing God’s Word or doing God’s Word. When we are only hearers of God’s Word, we are like a person wo sees their dirty face in a mirror but does nothing and goes away. They didn’t act to remove the dirt.

For this reason, it is not enough to hear God’s Word. We need to read it, study it, listen attentively to it, meditate on it, and memorize it. When we do that, God’s Word will reflect to us like a mirror the areas of our lives where we are pleasing God and the areas where we still need to repent and grow. When we repent, God is able to show merciful, loving work of transformation in our hearts.

For the changes to take place in our hearts, it is essential to respond to what God’s Word is reflecting in our lives. We need to do God’s Word, abide in it, obey it, and put it into practice. When we don’t respond to God’s Word properly, we deceive ourselves.

It’s like looking into a mirror but chosing to ignore my dirty reflection. Then the mirror has no benefit for me. Likewise, if I hear God’s Word but I’m not actively responding to it, I deceive myself into thinking that I’m following God. Just hearing God’s Word but not putting it into practice, makes us forget God’s Word easily and puts us into danger of backsliding into our old self, the world, and sins. Therefore, God commands us to be doers of His Word. We need to memorize His Word, obey it, and apply it to our daily lives. When we live out the truth, wisdom, the commandments of His Word, and let the Holy Spirit work in our lives, we will become more and more like Christ and reflect God’s Glory.

So everytime you pick up your Bible, pray to the Lord that He may show you through the mirror, His Word, what is pleasing to Him and what is out of place and displeasing to Him. Then prayerfully respond to it by taking action to change for His glory. I pray that you will always be a doer of God’s Word!