I was walking our dog, Jack, around the neighborhood the other day when I came near a couple strolling along the sidewalk. As we neared each other I heard the woman say with a teasing voice, “You don’t listen to a word I say.” The man put his arm around her shoulders, gave a squeeze and said, “I hear every word you say.” They laughed and continued on their way. Made me think of mirrors.
In James 1:22-23 we read, “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.” There are moments for a quick glance in the mirror to check our hair is in place, perhaps smooth a crooked collar, or dab at a lipstick smear, but at some point in the morning, before we greet the world, we need a long look in the mirror. The mirror does three vital things: 1) It allows us personal examination. 2) It provides assistance as we repair and restore what we see. 3) It allows us to walk away content in our transformation. A good look in the mirror gives us needed confidence to begin our day. It is no different in our spiritual world.
There are times for a quick glance into God’s Word to remind us of something or to give us a needed reference, but the quick glance must never replace the needed long look in the mirror. Taking time to meditate upon God’s Word, allowing the Holy Spirit to whisper gentle guidance, gives us vital moments for personal examination. Having examined our hearts, we can then ask forgiveness where needed, and ask the Holy Spirit to give us spiritual strength in those weakened areas that surfaced during personal examination. Then, with great joy and the very confidence of the Lord, we walk away transformed a little more in His likeness, ready to begin our day.
It is important to be ready physically each day because people we meet will be more receptive to us when we appear washed, hair brushed, and clothes cleaned. It is spiritually important to be ready each day because the arch enemy, Satan, never tires of sending his demonic influences to weaken, dismay, and discourage us. He will attack, but when we have properly prepared ourselves in the mirror of God’s Word, he cannot knock us down.
A glance in the mirror is not a bad thing, but a long look reveals what is needed to begin each day — examine, restore, transform — you are then equipped for anything that comes your way.