A Mirror Image
A Mirror Image
Mirrors for personal use have always been popular. I guess people tend to look at themselves no matter if they like what they see or not. Early mirrors could have been pools of dark, still water collected in a vessel of some sort. The earliest manufactured mirrors were pieces of polished stone such as obsidian. Obsidian mirrors have been found in Anatolia dating from thousands of years ago. Mirrors of polished metal have been found in several places, including ancient Egypt. Personal, hand-held mirrors are seen depicted in ancient Grecian art. Vanity aside, there are practical reasons for being able to use a mirror—perhaps the need would arise to examine and injury, or simply to check the orderliness of appearance.
Scripture mentions mirrors, too—sometimes metaphorically (Job 37:18; 1Corinthians 13:12; 2Corinthians 3:18). God has made a mirror which shows the soul of man. “But prove yourselves doers of the word, and not merely hearers who delude themselves. 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 1:22-25). This comparison is made to show the importance of being doers of the word. It is highly inconsistent with the nature of man to learn what all may be wrong and then ignore it.
The mirrors which men make have imperfections. Some of them give exaggerated reflections. Sometimes this is done intentionally to make fat people appear skinny and skinny people to appear fat. But God's word is a flawless mirror—it is complete in what it shows. Remember what James wrote: “But one who looks intently at the perfect law, the law of liberty, and abides by it.” We can trust God's mirror to give us a true reflection.
That is the purpose of a mirror—to reveal, to give a true reflection. A mirror tells it like it is, good or bad. Mirrors never make corrections. The corrections must be done by those who look into the mirrors. Mirrors help, only, in that they reveal that which needs to be corrected.
Likewise, God's mirror, the word, reveals our true condition. Seeing our condition in that mirror does not change us. To be changed, we must take action. We must do what we are told to do to change what is undesirable. The mirror, the word, does the the revealing. If we see the imperfections of ourselves as we look into this mirror but do nothing about it, we are like the man James speaks of, who beholds what he truly looks like in a mirror and then goes his way and does nothing to improve himself. The mirror does not help him. God's word does not help us if we don’t do something about it.
God’s mirror actually reveals many things about man. When you look into God's mirror you will find it reveals your origin (Genesis 1:26; 2:7). You will see a man, made by God. You will not see a primate. This unerring mirror tells it like it is. When you look into God's mirror you will see your behavior’s consequences. You will see that you are a sinner. You will see the influence of the works of the flesh (Romans 3:23; Galatians 5:19-21). You will see one with sin—not one who measures up to the high standard of perfection. When you look into God's mirror you will see your need. You will see that you need God's word to save you from your sins in connection with what God and Christ have already done for you. You will see that you need that word to guide you all your days (Romans 5:8,9; 1:16; 6:17; 1Peter 4:11). When you look into God's mirror, you will also be able to see your destiny. It will show either heaven or hell, depending upon who you are and what you have done and are doing (John 5:28,29). Isn’t it time to look closely into the mirror and examine ourselves to see whether or not we are what we ought to be (2Corinthians 13:5)?
People do not get mad at the mirror, no matter what imperfections it may show. Why then, do many get mad at the mirror when it is God's word—His mirror. When an atheist looks into this mirror, he is apt to find that it shows him to be a fool (Proverbs 14:1). He then has choices: he may cease to be an atheist, he may get mad at the mirror, he may even get mad at the one who holds the mirror for him. An unrepentant sinner may look into this mirror and see that he is lost because he has not obeyed the gospel (Mark 16:15,16; 2Thessalonians 1:7-9). He may obey the gospel as a result, or he may get mad at the mirror. A Christian may look into this mirror and discover that he is not living right (Titus 2:11), or that he is not giving properly (2Corinthians 9:6,7), or that he does not have a right to live with the marriage companion he has chosen (Matthew 19:9), or a host of things. He may change that which is wrong—that is what ought to be done. However, he may get mad at the mirror or at the one who holds up the mirror for him to see. Do not get mad at the mirror. The mirror is merely reflecting that which is true.
Use God's mirror properly. Use it obediently. Use it regularly and frequently. Remember Psalm 1:1,2? “How blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked, Nor stand in the path of sinners, Nor sit in the seat of scoffers! But his delight is in the law of the LORD, And in His law he meditates day and night.” We should look into that mirror fairly and honestly. We should see how we look in comparison with what we honestly find, like the Bereans of Macedonia (Acts 17:11).
Are you using God's mirror? Do it! You will see your “mirror image.”