Mirrors, Reflections and Illusions


As a child, my youngest son Philip had a fascination with mirrors.  If there was a mirror in the room, he could not resist watching himself talk as he told you about his day or ask a question.  To get his attention his dad would stand in front of the mirror.  Phil, never missing a syllable would contort his body so he could see around, under or over his dad.  My grandchildren have inherited this same trait.  I’m sure my mother would testify that the gene came from me; I prefer to believe that it magically appeared in my children and then was passed down to my grandchildren.  Children will pause to gaze at any reflection of themselves.  I watched as Caleb used the glass in the back door to examine his tongue and his belly, to see what scary and funny things he could do with his face and to watch the patterns saliva created as it ran down the formerly clean window.  I wanted to capture this moment to show at his graduation party, so to get his attention I asked him to show me the sucker clutched in his little hand.  Refusing to look at the camera, he held the sucker up proudly and smiled as I captured the back of his head and the reflection in the glass.

As we mature, our fascination with mirrors doesn’t really go away.  Alright, confess!  How many of you still make funny faces in your bathroom mirror?  How many of you men strike a pose and flex for the mirror admiring the imaginary bulging biceps and six-pack abs?  It really doesn’t change, most of the time we see are illusions; what we would like to be rather than what we have become.

This morning, I saw an interview with Ruby.  At one time Ruby weighed over 700 pounds and has lost over 300.  She said all the weight just sort of “crept” up on her.  My first thought was, did you ever look in a mirror?  I understand 20 or 30 pounds “creeping” up on you but 400 to 500?  Then it hit me this is how everything that would destroy our life begins.  Looking in the “mirror of life” after we have allowed just a little lie or envy to invade, we decide, “it doesn’t look so bad.”  After all, I can still button the “blouse.”  After a few days, the new reflection becomes familiar and when we add some hatefulness or doubt, we again decide I see the changes but no one else notices and we hide behind a “roomier blouse.”  The scenario is repeated, we become comfortable with our new look and easily allow jealousy, lust or unforgiveness to pile on.  The illusion takes over and we no longer notice or care as we quickly “comb our hair,” closing our mind to our true reflection.

Recently, I have been teaching a bible study to a group.  I passed out a mirror to each person in the group and ask each one to look at their reflection and tell me one good thing about themselves.  Some made remarks regarding their eyes, hair, wrinkles, or smile, while others mentioned qualities that were not reflected in the mirror but were reflected in their character.  One gentleman laid down his mirror and with tears in his eyes began to tell of his experience with mirrors.  His life had become something he would have never dreamed possible.  His shame was so great that he was unable to even look at the reflection of sin’s destructive forces.  Today, he looks in the mirror, past the lasting scars of sin, into eyes that reflect the joy of the Lord, and at a mouth that speaks blessing rather than cursing.

If you have allowed some “weights or sins” to creep into your life, stop, take a good look in the mirror.  Instead of embracing an illusion and glancing past the unflattering parts, choose the characteristic that causes you the biggest problem and give it to Jesus. Then move on to the next and the next.  Soon you will be able to look in the mirror and see yourself as He does, through eyes of forgiveness.  You will no longer see what you have become but the transformed person you are becoming through the blood of Jesus Christ.


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