Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Look at you ~ beautiful you!

Mirror, mirror on the wall, who is…? Mirrors show and throw back exactly what they see. Pictures can be touched up. Clothes, war paint, and color, can camouflage imperfections and change the way others see us. But when I stand in front of the mirror, BAM, there it is, all the years and tears of my life staring back at me. Friends say I look good, I tell myself I’m doing fine, but the mirror is not so kind and it does not lie.

Reminds me of a verse, several actually. Ezekiel 33:31 talks about how the people come and listen habitually but do not put what they hear into practice. “With their mouths they express devotion, but their hearts…?” Sounds like a worship service doesn’t it? Yes we cover, paint and practice hiding our imperfections but inside we are still the same. Our heart just don’t match the outside and we’ve gotten comfortable with that.

James (1:22-25) says the same thing in the New Testament. “Don’t just listen to the word and/or the Word and think that listening changes you. It doesn’t. Do what it says or you are just deceiving yourself. Listening to the word but not doing what it says is like looking in a mirror and walking away, immediately forgetting what you look like” (My version).

A lot of money, time, and effort, is spent on fooling others to believe that we are skinny, have flawless complexions, are kind, considerate, hard working and godly. We may fool them, but fooling ourselves? That is just ~ foolish! When I look in the Word I find that the only true mirror is the mirror of God’s Truth. He is not deceived, I have only fooled myself. If I really want change I have to do something different, I need to do what He says. When He reveals my imperfections to me I have to do more than make notes in my Bible, tell the preacher his sermon spoke to me, and post an excerpt on FB, I have to do what He says.

Being a tolerant society is very vogue right now, but being tolerant of sin in our lives is never vogue with God. We tolerate a lot of junk in our lives and encourage others to be accepting of it. God says get a new mirror, here use Mine! The difference is His mirror is not condemning, it is freeing. He says look, you have something green in your teeth, so that you can remove it and be the beautiful person He created you to be.

If we want freedom and God’s blessing, we actually have to change. James goes on to say that the person “who looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues to do this, not forgetting what he has heard, but doing it-he will be blessed in what he does” (vs 25 NIV). Don’t think of the law as restrictive, it brings freedom. How freeing would it be to actually be the person inside that you present to the world? How freeing would it be to be the same great person you think/wish you are, at church, work, play, and in traffic. That is what God wants. He wants you to be free to be yourself without embarrassment, shame or self consciousness – kind of like you were back in the garden.