19 September 2011

Mirror Image

You know that verse in the Bible where it talks about looking in the mirror and seeing your reflection, but as soon as you walk away you forget what you look like (James 1:19-25)? Ok, what in the world does that mean?? Who in their right mind actually looks in a mirror and forgets what they look like?! If that were the case, you would never recognize a self portrait. And, you would need someone to tag you in the picture..."Well, who is that strange fellow? Oh, that's ME!!" Trust me, nobody forgets what they look like. Obviously, this verse makes no sense. So, let's just write the verse off like we do so many others. Deal??

Wait. What in the world could Jesus be trying to tell us here? So, if I hear the Word and don't do what it tells me, then I have no clue what I look like. Still doesn't make sense.

Let's read it (since you didn't click the link):

"Understand this, my dear brothers and sisters: You must all be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to get angry. Human anger does not produce the righteousness God desires. So get rid of all the filth and evil in your lives, and humbly accept the word God has planted in your hearts, for it has the power to save your souls. But don't just listen to God's word. You must do what it says. Otherwise, you are only fooling yourselves. For if you listen to the word and don't obey, it is like glancing at your face in a mirror. You see yourself, walk away, and forget what you look like. But if you look carefully into the perfect law that sets you free, and if you do what it says and don't forget what you heard, then God will bless you for doing it." (James 1:19-25 emphasis added)

So many times in these few verses God references hearing the word and doing what it says. This is why I've made bold all the "hearing" points and a couple of others, too. So, obviously we're supposed to hear the word.

Then, it finally hit me the other day. When God mentions the mirror, He's not necessarily talking about the mirror in your bathroom. He's talking about a spiritual mirror. The mirror is the Word of God. How many times has God told us, "you're forgiven" (Acts 2:38), "you're my bride" (2 Cor 11:2), "you're loved" (Eph 5:25), "you're my son" (Acts 13:26), "you're heir to my throne" (Rom 8:17), "you're more than a conqueror" (Rom 8:37), "you have a special purpose" (Jer 29:11), "you can cast out demons" (John 14:12), "you can walk on water" (John 14:12), "you can heal the broken" (John 14:12), "you're healed" (Isa 53:5), "you're no longer a captive" (Luke 4:18), "you're free" (Gal 5:1), "you have peace" (Col 3:15), "you own all that I own" (Psalm 50:10), "you're my special possession" (1 Pet 2:9), "you're my friend" (John 15:14), "you're a warrior" (Malachi 4:3), "you're fearless" (2 Tim 1:7)...I can go on.

Don't you see?! He's telling you what you look like. He's telling you what you look like in his eyes (1 Sam 16:7). It doesn't matter how other people see you. It doesn't matter what you think of yourself. What he sees is all that matters. Do you know how many times he repeats this stuff? It's like a mother telling a child over and over again how wonderful they are and how much they're loved, hoping one day the child gets it.

When we look into physical mirrors, all we see is fat, bald, and ugly (for guys) and fat, fat, and fat (for girls). ~:-) Honestly, he could care less about your physical appearance. The Bible hardly mentions what your physical traits should be. However, the Pharisees told us exactly how we should look on the outside. They also told us exactly how we should act. Weren't they reading the same Old Testament as everyone else? Jesus called these guys a "brood of vipers" and put them in their place for how wrong they were. These guys did everything perfect, but had the slightest clue who Jesus (or God) was. They didn't know God's heart. They had no relationship with the Father. Oh, and your church probably tells you to dress your best (or the coolest) because that's what a good Christian looks like. Am I right?! Remind you of anyone? Here's a good concept: Why doesn't the church focus on what the body of Christ really looks like and remind us, for a change.

But wait, you already know all this. You already know what the word says about you. Actually, you don't. Because if you did, you'd be a TOTALLY different person. If you actually believed the way God sees you, you'd be changing the world one person at a time, by accident! You would remind yourself how God sees you every minute of every day. You would remember what you looked like in his mirror and not the one in the gym. It doesn't matter if you mess up. He still sees you the same way because you believe in his son. Trust me, I'm still figuring it out too.

Jesus doesn't see us for what's on the outside. He sees us for who we REALLY are. He keeps telling us over, and over, and over again in his word and through his Spririt. He's just looking for somebody to believe him. We're amazing because of what he did for us! We're incredible because we didn't do anything about it. He did it for us. He did it all! We don't deserve it, but he doesn't care about that (2 Tim 1:9). We have him living inside of us. We have the Son of God living inside of us (1 Cor 6:19)! God sees his son in you when you believe in him.

God doesn't see fat (1 Sam 16:7). God sees conqueror, healer, warrior, lover, prince (princess), friend, peace-maker etc. God says YOU look like this. Yet, all you see is what's in your mirror in the bathroom. When will you humble yourself and start to believe what the Bible says you look like? Look in his word and see the details. See how wonderfully made you are (Psalm 139:14). See his Son in your life.

The world wants you to be focused on your outward appearance. Satan doesn't want you to know what you really look like. If the the world can keep your mind on your physical body, then you'll never see who you really are. What was the first thing Adam and Eve noticed about themselves? Maybe that they were naked? Maybe sin got them focused on the outside rather than who they really were? Just sayin.

Once you start seeing yourself the way God sees you, and stop forgetting what you look like, then you're outward appearance will start to change. You won't be contorted or twisted anymore. You won't be fat or ugly anymore. God has an incredible way of matching up your outside with your inside. Only he can do this.

Now that you're well on your way to believing what you really look like, don't forget it. Remind yourself often. Also, don't just remind yourself. Actually believe the voice coming out of his mouth. The Holy Spirit is constantly trying to remind you in new ways who you are. Once you start believing what Jesus says, the doing his word comes naturally. Once you know what you look like and believe, you start acting like a child of God. But, you can't be a child of God until you know what one looks like, first.

What's inside really does matter most. It's your heart that changes everything.


Jenny Girl said...

So I actually, almost, mostly, partly agreed with you in this one ;) I laughed at the fat, fat, fat part. It's more like, "Fat, gray hair, stretch marks in places there shouldn't be stretch marks, man, I'm not 20 anymore, but this is the day the Lord has made so I'll deal." Don't know about you, but I'm looking forward to the new bodies in Heaven :) Not only will we all look AMAZING, we will be without sin and perfect = AWESOME!

Dathan Ellis said...

Haha! I liked your description. But, let's state the obvious. The reason fat, fat and fat doesn't roll with you is because you're skinny. And, you never agree with me. When you finally do, you will be in your heavenly body. BTW - according to Christ, you are already without sin and perfect...so start acting like it. ~:-)

Jenny Girl said...

I never agree with you because I like to give you another (better and totally right) perspective on life.
Dude, you need to hurry up, get married and have kids. Then those little ankle biters will let you know that you are, in fact, NOT perfect and sin all the time. Kids are good for that kind of stuff ;) especially when you take them out shopping. I'll even let you borrow mine for a couple hours. Ha ha ha ha! :)

Dathan Ellis said...

I didn't say I don't sin. I'm sure I'm worse than you. ~:-P As far as borrowing your kids...no thanks. I have enough kids (adults) around me all the time.

Alex said...

Or, Dathan could stay as Paul - not married, and more than likely a virgin his whole life dedicated solely to God and not splitting his time between serving/pleasing a wife and serving/pleasing God.

Through the ministries Dathan has been involved in, God says he is a dad to the many orphans he has dealt with.

If being single is his call in life, then single he is.

Psych You Out said...

Wow, I like the point Alex made. I'm not sure if he's being sarcastic or not, but he's right.